Henningsen, Pynn, Van Laarhoven, Gatz honored for teaching

Quartet earns 2014 awards for excellence in undergraduate teaching, instruction

Top: Mary Lynn Henningsen and Geoffrey PynnBottom: Toni Van Laarhoven and Kim Gatz

Top: Mary Lynn Henningsen and Geoffrey Pynn
Bottom: Toni Van Laarhoven and Kim Gatz

There’s an old saying that a teacher’s purpose is not to create students in her or his own image, but to develop students who can create their own images.

This month, during Celebrating Excellence, NIU honors four of its finest educators who strive to do just that: Mary Lynn Henningsen, Geoffrey Pynn, Toni Van Laarhoven and Kimberly Gatz.

Henningsen (Department of Communication), Pynn (Department of Philosophy) and Van Laarhoven (Department of Special and Early Education) are honored with the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award for their contributions in and out of the classroom.

Gatz (Department of Communication) is awarded with the Excellence in Undergraduate Instruction Award.

Initiated in 1966, the awards honor excellent undergraduate teaching at the university, encourage improvement of instruction and promote discussion among members of the university community on the subject of teaching.

Nominees must be full-time faculty whose major responsibility is teaching and must have worked at least five full academic years at NIU.

The Faculty Awards Reception begins at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24, with a reception in the Altgeld Auditorium. The ceremony begins at 3:30 p.m.

NIU: Celebrating ExcellenceThis event is part of Celebrating Excellence at NIU, scheduled from Saturday, April 12, through Thursday, May 1. Celebrating Excellence highlights the accomplishments and contributions of NIU students, faculty, staff and alumni to the university’s mission of promoting excellence and engagement in teaching and learning, research and scholarship, creativity and artistry, and outreach and service during the academic year.

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