MACOMB, IL – The College of Arts and Sciences at Western Illinois University has announced is 2019-2020 Outstanding Faculty Awards.

Because of COVID-19, no faculty gathering was held to celebrate.

This year’s winners are:

Excellence in Teaching
Professor Laura Barden-Gabbei
– Department of Biological Sciences

Excellence in Research/Scholarship
Professor Peter Cole
– Department of History

Excellence in Service
Professor Rich Filipink
– Department of History

Excellence in Teaching with Technology
Professor Gordon Pettit
– Department of Mathematics and Philosophy

Excellence in Multicultural Teaching
Assistant Professor Edmund Asare
– Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures

Excellence in Internationalizing the Campus
Associate Professor Rebekah Buchanan
– Department of English

Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research
Assistant Professor Mette Soendergaard
– Department of Chemistry

“Please join us in congratulating these outstanding members of the faculty,” said CAS Dean Sue Martinelli-Fernandez. “As a college, we have outstanding faculty, and these seven individuals are shining examples of that. I continue to be impressed by their service and commitment to our students, our departments, our college and our University, as well as to their professions.”

For more information about WIU’s CAS, visit here.


Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.