Professor of Psychology Gary Creasey said the Carnegie Foundation Illinois Professor of the Year is something he's always wanted to achieve and to be recognized out of the university means a lot to him. (Insert courtesy of Illinois State University.)
By Stephanie Pawlowski
NORMAL - An Illinois State University professor is this year's Illinois Professor of the Year, presented by the Carnegie Foundation.
Professor of Psychology Gary Creasey found out about the honor earlier this year and picked up the award in Washington, D.C. Thursday. Creasey is also the assistant director of the Teacher Plus program at ISU, helping students with education majors work as teachers in the Chicago Public School system.
Creasey said he wants his students to know that the course doesn't end at the end of the semester.
"The information that they're learning in class, that we're learning together will affect them for the rest of their lives and their careers, their relationships, life satisfaction and the list goes on," Creasey said.
Creasey joined ISU in 1989. He's a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University.
The Carnegie Foundation names a top professor in each state to be honored in Washington, D.C. Creasey said it's something he's always wanted.
"I think you have a list of life's accomplishments of things you've always wanted to achieve and this award, I have to have it, it's in the top five," Creasey said.
Asked what he loves about what he does, Creasey said that's easy, the students. He also credits ISU, the students and faculty for the award.
"One person alone can't really win the award in a sense that you have to have great students, and we have great colleagues," Creasey said. "There is tremendous support for teaching at the university where the faculty can continue their education."
Creasey said great instructors aren't born, they're shaped and he thinks ISU does that. Someone at ISU nominated Creasey for the award.
His research focuses on developmental psychology, with a specialization in adolescent development. During his time at Illinois State, Creasey has earned the Outstanding College Teacher Award in his division, the Provost’s Faculty Excellence Initiative Award and the Outstanding College Researcher Award (Senior Division). He has earned the ISU Outstanding University Teaching Award, and been named a State Farm Teaching Technology Fellow.
He is the author of numerous books and publications, including Research Methods in Lifespan Development and Adolescent Development in Urban Communities. Creasey has also authored chapters of popular books such as The Child: An Encylopedic Companion, the Handbook of Adult Development and Learning and the Handbook of Relationship Initiation. His research has appeared in such journals as Journal of Research on Adolescence, Psychological Inquiry and the International Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.
Creasey is the second winner of the Illinois Professor of the Year award. Professor of Chemistry Greg Ferrence won the award in 2009.
Stephanie Pawlowski can be reached at Stephanie.Pawlowski@Cumulus.com.