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Best of the best

April 3, 2014
David Hedin and Laura Vazquez

David Hedin
and Laura Vazquez

One is a documentary filmmaker whose works have screened internationally, the other a physicist who has made his mark on some of the world’s most ambitious experiments.

Their disciplines couldn’t seem more different. But what Laura Vazquez and David Hedin share is an uncommon drive, along with a passion for immersing students in their work and creating opportunities for them to shine.

Northern Illinois University has selected Vazquez, a professor of communication, and Hedin, a professor of physics, as its 2014 Board of Trustees Professors, a top university honor that recognizes faculty members for international renown in their research and excellence in all facets of teaching.

“Since coming to NIU less than a year ago, I’ve met many extraordinary faculty members, and Laura Vazquez and David Hedin certainly are among the best of the best,” NIU President Doug Baker said.

“Throughout their careers, their work in and out of the classroom has been exemplary, always integrating NIU students. We could use both Laura and Dave as case studies in how faculty can nurture student career success.”

Established in 2007, the Board of Trustees Professorships honor faculty members who have consistently demonstrated excellence in teaching, academic leadership, scholarship or artistry, and service and outreach.

Each BOT Professorship is accompanied by a $10,000 stipend, renewable annually during a five-year term. The BOT Professorship awards will be presented during the annual Faculty Awards Ceremony and Reception, which begins at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24, in the Altgeld Hall Auditorium, with a reception. The ceremony begins at 3:30 p.m.

Click on the names below for closer looks at the 2014 BOT Professors:

NIU: Celebrating ExcellenceCelebrating Excellence at NIU, scheduled from April 12 to May 1, 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.