Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology
Illinois State University
Jump over the College navigation bar.

2014 Outstanding University Teacher Award Winner Category II

Larissa Castriotta Kennedy, M.A.

  • M.A. in Chinese Language and Literature from University of Massachusetts- Amherst (2000)
  • Instructional Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences, History

Teaching philosophy

I want to instill in my students the confidence that they can rise to an intellectual challenge if they work hard and are willing to learn.

Best moment in my teaching career

The best moments in my teaching career are when I inspire students to want to learn more about China and Japan, to study abroad in China or Japan, or, more generally, to study abroad. Another great moment is when students who start the semester saying they hate history end up wanting to take more history classes because it turns out that they liked my course. I’ve learned that students are more open to new ideas than one might think.

Best compliment from a student

One of the best compliments I have received is when, outside of the anonymity of student evaluations, a student looks me in the eye and tells me that they enjoyed the class and learned a lot.

Three most valuable approaches that I bring to my teaching practice

Knowledge, organization, enthusiasm

Teaching technique to recommend

I find my colleagues to be very good teachers, and I have learned a lot from them. Perhaps one strategy I would recommend to my colleagues is to encourage their students to study abroad.

Ways I want to continue to improve my teaching

I would like to deepen my knowledge of the subject matter. I would also like to find an effective way to have more discussions in large sections.

“The most rewarding aspect of teaching is when students engage in the ideas I teach. My favorite moments in the classroom include students ask really good questions that demonstrate that not only did they do the readings, they thought about the issues.”

2017-07-20T13:27:58.822-05:00 2017