Recent Recipients

Richard T. Scanlan Teaching Fellowship

The Richard T. Scanlan Teaching Fellowship was established in honor of Richard T. Scanlan (1928–2009), Professor of Classics from 1967 to 1998.  His inspired teaching went beyond the ordinary (the “Priest of Apollo” made his first appearance in a puff of smoke to predict the outcome of an upcoming Illini football game) and made classics relevant in students’ lives. Professor Scanlan began teaching the popular “Myth” and “Roman Civ” courses in 1972, making them among the most popular courses taught at the University of Illinois.  During his service at the U of I he taught over 50,000 undergraduate students.  Professor Scanlan was consistently included on the “List of Instructors Ranked as Excellent by Their Students” and received the Urbana–Champaign Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

This fellowship is awarded annually to a graduate teacher who demonstrates a similar sense of commitment and energy toward making the classics come alive.

2015 Winner Sean Minion

Sean Minion

Sean (MA Classics + Illinois State Teacher's License, May 2016) is an oustanding teacher of Mythology and Latin. Always well prepared, with an easy-going manner, plenty of humor and good, clear objectives. Sean knows how to fit a lot into fifty minutes and elicits an impressive performance from his students. His classes maintain a good pace and a lively sense of forward momentum, while Sean teaches his students to back opinions with evidence and to present clearly reasoned arguments. He is particularly innovative in his use of technology, and has written a two page guide to the useful teaching apps he incorporates in his classes. See Sean's on-line portfolio for more information about his teaching.

2014 Winner Sergio Yona

Sergio YonaSergio has a quiet focus that is highly engaging, whether he is lecturing on Greek Civilization or teaching elementary Latin. He has warmth, humor and an incomparable knowledge of Latin. His students like to comment and heckle, in a friendly way while they compete in "Latin Trivia" or perform skits in Latin. In his literature classes, Sergio knows how to raise thought-provoking topics at the right level of detail. He takes the research of teaching seriously and is as ready to discuss vase paintings or seal-rings as the ideas of Plato or the poetry of Horace. He is a gifted lecturer whose presentations integrate textual sources, artifacts and general background information seamlessly.


2013 Winner Aine McVey

Patrick Neff

Aine is the rare instructor who is highly effective both in lecturing and in discussion leading. Since she arrived in fall 2011, Aine has led sections of “The Mythology of Greece and Rome” every semester, taught the class as the instructor of record during summer 2013, and served for two years as the course’s Head TA. As one observer put it, “Aine makes the assumption that students are capable of more than what everyone else expects of them”. She has an intuitive knack both for structuring in information in ways that students can appreciate and for helping them connect ancient literature with today’s world – whether it is exploring the concept of fate in Sophocles' Oedipus Rex through comparison with The Order of the Phoenix or linking the Antiope myth with Disney's Cinderella. She has appeared on the university's "List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent" twice.


2012 Winner Patrick V. Neff

Patrick is the kind of teacher who always knows his material and is tireless in creating new materials and testing out new techniques. Since he arrived in fall 2012, he has taught LAT 101, LAT 102 and CLCV 115, as primary instructor, and served as a grader for CLCV 120.  Patrick fosters an open and friendly atmosphere in his classes, where his students know they will write Latin, speak Latin, and read Latin. His classes are fast-paced, well organized, and highly engaging. Patrick is dedicated to his students’ progress:  he has supervised honors projects, held extra review sessions and even run a Saturday reading group. He has appeared on the university's "List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent" twice since he arrived in fall 2010. “Since this award was announced, Patrick received his MA in Classics May 2013, with teacher certification, and is teaching in the Pittsburgh area.”

2011 Winner Ryan McConnell

Picture of Ryan McConnell

Ryan is one of the department's most popular instructors. Since 2006, he has taught all four levels of introductory Latin and elementary Greek as sole instructor. He has also served as a TA for Mythology and as a grader for Greek Civilization and the Archaeology of Rome. Whether his students are laughing at his demonstration of Arrius' h's or standing up to sing Gaudeamus Igitur, they know they are working with an expert teacher, who lets the classroom conversation be guided by their curiosity. Ryan's exceptional expertise, endless patience, and good humor have helped him appear no less than eleven times on the university's "List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by their Students". (Since this award was announced, Ryan received his Ph.D. in Classics August 2013, and is currently teaching at William and Mary College.)