MACOMB/Moline, IL — Three Western Illinois University College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) faculty were recently named winners of the 2021 COFAC Awards of Excellence.

“The faculty in the College of Fine Arts and Communication continue to excel in all areas,” said COFAC Interim Dean William “Buzz” Hoon. “We are fortunate to have a number of dedicated, hard-working individuals educating our students and I am happy to recognize their achievements.”

COFAC’s Award for Excellence in Teaching – Department of Art and Design Professor Bill Howard

Howard’s nominator said he has excelled in various ways including helping direct classroom practice and after class projects with students.

Three COFAC Faculty Honored with Awards of Excellence

Bill Howard

“First and foremost, he has a relationship with his students that is way beyond the teaching of methodology,” they said. “An aspect of his teaching is the way he has combined a knowledge of centuries old print technology and integrated it with contemporary new and experimental approaches. These approaches are truly revolutionary. Through this, he has gained a national reputation and has been invited to various national conferences to share his knowledge.”

Besides his work in the classroom, Howard spearheaded the idea for one of Macomb’s public art projects, Rocky on Parade. He was also a lead artist in a 66-foot mural, which was added to the Old Dairy in Macomb in 2019. Last month, Howard was presented with the University’s Honorary Alumnus Award during the annual Town and Gown celebration for his many contributions to the University and to the region.

Howard’s nominator said students who graduate after taking his classes have a record of success whether they apply to graduate school or contribute to national or international exhibitions.

“Another wonderful aspect of his teaching methodology is his dedication to displaying works from previous students to make them very much a part of the learning experience,” said the nominator. “I find this aspect very important, not only by the direct experience, but by the way every student feels like a part of something special and has an active role in WIU history.”

COFAC’s Award for Excellence in University/Community Service – Theatre and Dance Assistant Professor Steven P. House

One of House’s nominators called him a “driving force in our design program.”

Three COFAC Faculty Honored with Awards of Excellence

Steven House

“He teaches with passion, recruits with great enthusiasm, and he is an artist of the highest caliber,” they said. “Professor House’s service record to the department, college, University and region is exceptional. He designs at least two productions on the WIU Main Stage each academic year.”

House is on the Graduate Council, the WIU Technology Committee, the Performing Arts Society, and is on the President’s Round Table. He volunteers at the Macomb Art Center, has been a judge for Battle of the Brushes, Jr., a participant in Battle of the Battle of the Brushes, serves on the Illinois Theatre Association Board and has been a Rocky on Parade artist twice.

House’s second nominator said work is “stellar” and the effort he puts into recruiting is “a gold standard example.”

“He is an integral part of why we’ve seen our recruiting efforts strengthen in the past few years,” they said.

COFAC’s Award for Excellence in Scholarly/Professional Activities – Broadcasting and Journalism Assistant Professor Quintin Parker

Three COFAC Faculty Honored with Awards of Excellence

Quintin Parker

One of Parker’s nominators called him a mentor who helps students develop broadcasting skills.

“He sits down with me and goes over my strengths and weaknesses and gives me all sorts of resources to help make my improvements,” they said. “He takes time with not only me, but so many other students in our department, while having to balance so many other responsibilities.”

Parker serves as director of WIU’s Sports Broadcasting program, chair of COFAC’s New Hire Search Committee and as a member of the Curriculum Committee. He helped add a pre-game and half-time show to broadcasting’s live ESPN football production and a livestream of the pregame show to Facebook.

A second nominator said Parker has a clear passion for the material he teaches.

“While he has helped me learn so much about the broadcasting field in the classroom, he has also shown me there is so much more to learn and look forward to outside the classroom,” said the nominator. “He has pushed me to become more of a leader and take on more responsibility. Overall, he has made my experience at WIU a once in a lifetime experience.”

For more information about COFAC, visit

Three COFAC Faculty Honored with Awards of Excellence
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.
Three COFAC Faculty Honored with Awards of Excellence

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