McKendree English Professor Wins Excellence in Teaching Award

(LEBANON, Ill., November 14, 2016) — A McKendree University English professor, whose teaching style inspires non-majors to seek out her literature courses, has received a 2016 Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award. Dr. Nichole DeWall, associate professor of English, teaches courses in Medieval and Renaissance literature, the works of Shakespeare, 17th and 18th century literature, dramatic literature and English composition.

The annual award honors those who make an outstanding contribution to the teaching profession and to their students. Recipients are chosen by their institutions’ top administrators.

“She is a passionate, engaging instructor, who works diligently to inspire her students,” said Dr. Christine Bahr, provost. “She is patient and kind, believing that all students can learn to enjoy the reading of literature.”

DeWall has organized student trips to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater and has helped to promote study abroad. Always striving to improve her teaching, she participates regularly in workshops, conferences, teaching circles, and a faculty book study. She advises the Literary Interest Society and serves on the Brown Bag Committee, which schedules weekly speaker presentations. As a member of the Academic Excellence Celebration Committee, she has helped to revitalize student research poster presentations. A past president of Phi Kappa Phi honor society, she has helped McKendree students shape their application essays to win prestigious fellowships.

The Edwardsville, Ill., resident joined the faculty in 2008. She earned a doctorate in English from Northeastern University, a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College.

In addition to DeWall, other McKendree graduates or former students were among the St. Louis area educators who received 2016 Excellence in Teaching Awards on Nov. 13:

  • Megan (Buckley) Bayless, MAED ’12, of Glen Carbon, Ill., a fifth and sixth grade special education teacher at Belle Valley Middle School in District 119 in Belleville

  • Johnna Wells ’84, of Collinsville, Ill., a pre-K to fifth grade physical education teacher at Bernard Long Elementary School in Madison Community School District 12

  • Gary Miller, MAED ’07, of Belleville, Ill., a second grade teacher at Wingate Elementary School in Mascoutah School District 19

  • Sharon Logan ’73, of Marine, Ill., a fourth grade teacher at Marine Elementary School in Triad Community Unit School District 2

  • Melinda (Black) Morgan ’06, M.A.Ed. ’13, of Freeburg, Ill., a kindergarten through sixth grade Title English language arts teacher at Marissa Elementary School in Marissa Community Unit School District 40

Photo of Dr. Nichole DeWall

Dr. Nichole DeWall