Posted by Aurora University on May 12, 2011
AURORA, Ill. — Deborah Stevens, Associate Professor of Education at Aurora University, received the 2011 Marcus and Mark H. Trumbo Excellence in Teaching award, AU’s top faculty honor, at 118th annual commencement ceremonies May 8.
Provost Andrew Manion presented her award. Stevens was selected from nominees submitted by faculty and students, recommendations from AU academic deans, and a committee of former Trumbo award recipients.
He said, “Deb Stephens is an exceptionally talented educator. Her gifts benefit not only Aurora University students in the College of Education, but also the primary and secondary students they go on to teach. Her impact is felt in schools throughout the region. We are fortunate to have her as a member of the faculty at Aurora University.”
Award selection criteria are the ability to motivate students to intellectual activity, concern for values that give purpose and meaning to life and the ability to accept students whatever their state of intellectual, social or spiritual development.
Other criteria are being friendly, sympathetic and available to students; encouraging self-expression of students while teaching the tools and skills of scholarship; and communicating and imparting to students a personal enthusiasm for learning.
The award includes a $1,000 grant. Former Aurora College Dean Mark H. Trumbo and Mrs. Trumbo established the award in 1976 in memory of Mark’s father, Marcus Trumbo.
Stevens said, “I am deeply grateful for the honorable recognition of my work and I am especially fortunate to enjoy this honor with my colleagues from Aurora University and the Partnership School.”
Stevens focuses on teaching, administrative, self-development and service activities. All the classes she teaches include a laboratory. For example, her Master of Arts in Teaching with Certification students teach students reading below grade level from low-income families.
As an administrator, she serves as Interim Director of Initial Certification Programs. Her responsibilities include scheduling classes and hiring adjunct/pro rata instructors. She said, “I am committed to having the very best instructors teach in our program.” Her administrative role also includes solving or remediating student issues, approaching state certification changes, communicating with students and colleagues in the College of Education and supporting the college’s dean.
Steven’s service activities include both external and internal. In the community, she serves on the admissions review committee of the Illinois and Mathematics and Science Academy, is a volunteer consultant for DuPage Children’s Museum, and serves on the math, science and literacy advisory board of the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom program.
At AU, she serves on numerous committees, mentors initial certification teacher candidates and is faculty advisor to the Aurora University Student Association.
An AU faculty member since 2001, Stevens earned her doctoral degree from Loyola University, a master’s degree from Governors State University and a bachelor’s degree from Marquette University.