Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology
Illinois State University
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2012 Outstanding University Teacher Award Winner Category I

Virginia Teas Gill, Ph.D.

  • Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison (1995)
  • Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Teaching philosophy

Ignite an intellectual spark and teach students skills they will use for the rest of their lives.

Teaching technique I recommend

Give students as many opportunities as possible to actively process what they are learning—to articulate, apply, and practice it. The more they do, the more they will learn.

Three most valuable approaches that I bring to my teaching practice

I set high standards for the quality of my students’ work while supporting their efforts to meet these standards.

I try to be organized and consistent so my students know what to expect.

I teach my students how to learn more effectively, not just what to learn.

Best compliment from a student

“Your class changed my life.”

Most challenging aspect of teaching

Grading. It requires so much energy and time to do it well. I don’t always do it as well as I would like, but I try to focus on being honest in my assessments while also looking for the potential in any piece of work.

Proudest teaching accomplishment

From taking my courses, students often gain a sense of their own potential and the skills to realize this potential.

Virginia Teas Gill, Ph.D.
“I live for those classroom moments when the rest of the world recedes and we are all completely engaged, focusing and thinking as hard as we can together. At those moments I get to watch students discover—or rediscover—the joy of intellectual engagement. What a privilege.”
2017-07-20T13:28:03.369-05:00 2017