Ryan is a specialist in twentieth century American literature and culture, modernism, African-American literature and Southern studies.
This university-wide award, which was established in 2001, recognizes a faculty or staff member who has, over time, contributed significantly to honors education at NIU through teaching as well as advising, research, artistry or service. Recipients manifest leadership, dedication and service to the University Honors Program and NIU honors students.
Ryan has provided exemplary service to the University Honors Program and its students through his service as a two-term chair of the University Honors Committee, his development of a new Honors Themed Learning Community course, and his effective direction of many Honors in-course contracts in the Department of English.
Honors students volunteer highly laudatory comments about Ryan’s performance in and beyond the classroom.
“Ryan is an outstanding member of the University Honors community. His many contributions have had an exceedingly impact on the lives of NIU Honors students,” said Christopher Jones, associate vice provost for University Honors.
Jones presided over the University Honors Program’s Honors Day Recognition Ceremony, which was held April 21 in the Duke Ellington Ballroom of the Holmes Student Center. NIU President John G. Peters, Provost Raymond W. Alden III and Vice Provost Anne Birberick attended the ceremony and presented various awards.
One hundred and fifty-five University Honors graduates were recognized at the event, which was attended by about 400 people. Graduates received certificates as well as medals and stoles to be worn at commencement.
- Freshmen Franz Varga, sophomore Noemi Rodriguez, juniors Benjamin Donovan and Jason Montemayor, and senior Kasey Twine were recognized with Enhancement Awards. These awards honor students’ academic excellence, outstanding involvement in campus and service activities, and strong personal commitment to the University Honors Program.
- 2012 NIU graduates Robert Meyers and Breanna Terranova received Outstanding Honors Capstone Awards.
- Jenelle McCalla received the inaugural University Honors Outstanding Student-Athlete Award, which goes to the student-athlete in the University Honors Program with the highest cumulative grade point average. Elizabeth Tovar of Intercollegiate Athletics presented the award. Other award presenters included Jes Cisneros, Vanessa Segundo and Jason Goode of the University Honors administrative team.
The event ended with a surprise student-led tribute to Jones, who is leaving NIU to become dean of arts and sciences at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y.