Celebrating Excellence

This year, as every year since 1991, the college hosted an Awards Banquet to recognize the outstanding achievements of our students, faculty, and staff. On April 30th, in the Illini Union, a crowd of about 500 award winners, parents, friends, donors, faculty, and college administrators gathered for this gala event.

About 200 undergraduate students received college or departmental scholarships and awards. Nearly 100 graduate fellowships, teaching awards, and other honors were also acknowledged. These do not count the many campus-wide awards our students have won, such as George Huff Awards for scholar-athletes, the Senior 100 Honorary (21 from Commerce), and Matthews Scholars (18 from Commerce). The awards are too numerous for us to acknowledge all of them here, but on the following pages we present some of the college-wide award winners who rate special mention and some of the many teaching awards.
The evening brought scholarship recipient Colleen Tedor (center) together with her benefactors, Maisie (BS Finance '89) and Rick (BS Economics '72) Heiken.

C o n g r a t u l a t i o n s   t o   a l l !


Student Awards

The Council of Presidents recognizes outstanding leadership ability and dedicated service to a student organization with two awards, the President's Award and the Student Leadership Award. Candidates are nominated by their organizations and a committee of club advisors and students makes the selection. 

Jill Stevenson and Dean Thomas

Jill Stevenson, president of Phi Gamma Nu for the 1999 calendar year, won the President's Award. Her nominator cites Jill for the "energy, enthusiasm, and motivation," she brought to each leadership position she held in Phi Gamma Nu during the last three years. And she is credited with leading by example and encouraging members to become more involved in the university and community. In one of the letters of recommendation, Jill is praised for "being instrumental in elevating the fraternity to new heights in achieving its goals. She is always volunteering to do the tough jobs." 
Gregory Stokke, internal vice president of Commerce Council for 1999, was presented with the Leadership Award. Greg's nominator wrote, "I have never known anyone who willingly gives more of himself in the service of others than Greg. This quality applies to the way he spends his Spring Break, to the way he exhibits his leadership skills in various organizations, to the way he helps others in his role as Commerce Council executive or committee chair . . . . He is a mentor-par-excellence because he has endless patience to answer questions and helps others by example or suggestion. His dedication to the council has made us a stronger, better organization."
Greg Stokke and Dean Thomas

 The Commerce Alumni Association Undergraduate Scholarship is presented in recognition of academic excellence, extracurricular activities, and community service. This year the award went to Meredith Allen.

Since 1997 the Commerce Alumni Association has been funding one Commerce Matthews Scholar. This campus-wide award, which recognizes an undergraduate who has an outstanding academic record, is named for the first student to enroll at Illinois. Winner of this award is Jeffrey Brook. Eighteen other Commerce students hold Matthews Scholarships through campus awards.


Bronze Tablet

Since 1925, the University of Illinois has recognized the highest-achieving members of each graduating class as Bronze Tablet Scholars, whose names are engraved on tablets and permanently on view in the University Library. Among the members of the Illinois Class of 2000 who placed in the top 3 percent of graduating seniors and have been thus honored are the following Commerce grads.

Amanda Jean Barrick
Sarah Lindsey Burch
Jayme Lynn Cassell
Zachary Steven Christensen
Andrew William Clark
Todd Gregory Cunningham
Tamara Taylor Daniel
Damian V. Dolyniuk
Faruk Durmic
Jason Alan Elliott
Jeffrey Thomas Elliott
Amina Marie Hafez
Kavitha Kanthilal
William Arthur Kindorf IV
Christopher James Koman
Rajeev Harish Kothari
Vanessa R. Marma
Saurin Yash Mehta
Jana Lynn Monier
Nate Pantumsinchai
Sarang Peruri
Michelle Anne Rosenzweig
Stephen David Shen
Mindy Jo Smith
Gregory Richard Stokke
Christopher Alexander Tutor
Eric Trygve Utne
Ina Marta Veitmanis
Kathleen Helen Westjohn
Kimberly Ruth Zieger

Top Ten Seniors

Commerce Council holds a competition to determine the Top Ten Seniors in the college. The award is based on academic achievement and service to the college and campus during their under-graduate careers. The Top Ten Seniors for the class of 2000 are:

Derek Beaty
Stacy Dunton
Bradley Foster Felicity Johnston
Antwon McGruder
Andrea Scheffler
Gregory Stokke
Rokeysha Tervalon
Roland Thomas
Christopher Tutor

Senior 100 Honorary

The Student Alumni Association and the University Alumni Association select Senior 100 Honorary students in recognition of outstanding scholarship and leadership. The CBA recipients are:

Christopher Abbott
Amanda Barrick
Derek Beaty
Sarah Burch
Stacy Dunton
Kari Hooper
Felicity Johnston
Antwon McGruder
Erin Murphy
Jennifer Naylor
Dawn Neisen
Sarang Peruri
Elizabeth Pickens
Jeffrey Piper
Carolyn Reichler
Andrea Scheffler
Eric Schlipf
Gregory Stokke
Rokeysha Tervalon
Roland Thomas
Amber Twomey

Teaching Awards

Commerce Council holds an election each semester to give students an opportunity to vote for their best Commerce professors. Students were asked to select the best professor of a large class (over 100 students) and a small class (under 100) and the best teaching assistant. To ensure fairness, the results were weighted (number of votes received in ratio to the number of students taught).

Winners of the Commerce Council Outstanding Teaching Awards for the 1999-2000 academic year are: Fred Gottheil, professor of economics, for a large class; Elisabeth Oltheten, assistant professor of finance, for a small class; and Ngamboko Papa (Lawrence Muzinga), teaching assistant in finance.

  The College of Commerce Distinguished Teaching Assistant Award recognizes exceptional teaching from a graduate student in any department except accountancy. The winner this year is John Kautter, economics.


Gary Hecht was named the 2000 Fred H. Figge Distinguished Teaching Assistant in Accountancy. The award, named for a 1956 graduate, recognizes excellence in undergraduate teaching.

David A. Ziebart received the St. Louis Accountancy Committee Excellence in Teaching Award. This award is presented each year in recognition of outstanding teaching and dedication to the teaching profession.


Sherrilyn Billger and Andrew Helms received the Robert Demarest Teaching Award, the department's highest teaching honor for graduate assistants.  This award was established by the family of Robert Demarest, an economics graduate student who died before completing his graduate degree.


Anderson C.D. Silva received the Leonard J. and Sharon Crowley Santow Award for Teaching Excellence. This award is given to a teaching assistant who demonstrates outstanding ability in the classroom.

Satya Patel received the Paul M. Van Arsdell, Sr., Award in Finance in recognition of outstanding scholarship and teaching. This award honors Professor Van Arsdell, the first head of the department.


Tom Linsmeier, accountancy, and Jeffrey Krug, business administration, received the EMBA Outstanding Instructor Award. Recipients of this award are selected by the graduating class in recognition of their performance over a two-year period.


Winners of this year's Faculty Excellence Award, elected by MBA students and awarded by the Illinois MBA Association, are Larry DeBrock, professor of economics, and Nicholas Petruzzi, assistant professor of business administration.

Other Awards

Dilip Chhajed, professor of business administration, received the Executive and Professional Development Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to teaching and programs in the Executive Development Center.

Stephen W. Hess was presented the Keith E. Sawyer Service Award in recognition of his outstanding service and commitment to the EMBA program. Hess, the network services administrator for the Office for Information Management, provides essential services to the entire college. In this technological age, we could not operate without him.


Thank you to all the many sponsors whose generosity makes these awards possible.


Neil Adams, Ben Christensen, Cathy Diaz, and Abe Khorshid served on the Awards Banquet Committee that organized this splendid event with the indispensable help of the Office for Alumni and External Affairs in the college. MCs pictured, l to r: Adams, Khorshid, and Christensen.


Distinguished Economists Visit

The Department of Economics sponsored two exceptionally interesting lectures during the spring semester — each under the auspices of an endowed lecture series, which makes it possible for distinguished scholars to visit the CBA campus and share their knowledge with members of the university community.

On March 21, the David Kinley Lecture was presented by Robert H. Porter, who is William R. Kenean, Jr., Professor of Economics at Northwestern University and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Porter spoke on the topic "The Market for Used Cars: Lemons  or Sweet Deals? An Empirical Investigation," a talk in which he addressed the problems associated with the unknown quality of used durable goods, problems believed to be an important impediment to trade. Porter has conducted research on a variety of topics in industrial organization, including theoretical and empirical studies of collusion, price wars, and bidders' behavior in auctions. His recent research includes studies of the federal auctions of offshore oil and gas leases, as well as procurement auctions for highway construction and for school milk, where he has investigated firms' bidding strategies, the formation of bidding consortia and joint ventures, and statistical methods for detecting the presence of a bid-rigging scheme.

On March 30, Nobel laureate Douglass C. North delivered the Edmund James Lecture, addressing the question of "Why Isn't the Whole World Developed?" North, who was recently named the first Spencer T. Olin Professor in Arts and Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1993 for his research on the economic history of the U.S. and Europe, and for his contributions to the understanding of how economic and political institutions change over time. "We have conquered the physical world," he told a capacity crowd of faculty and students in 141 Commerce West. "We have reduced the uncertainties associated with the physical environment — but we've done so at the expense of an increasingly complex human environment." He discussed the difference between "formal rules of the game" — i.e., constitutions and laws — and informal norms of behavior, noting that the United States, unlike many other countries, has "evolved rules that over the past several centuries laid the foundation of economic growth." For North, "The fundamental dilemma is how to create policies that put into place property rights and enforce them, and create norms that reward honesty and integrity — norms that complement formal rules." In short, he said: "It pays to cooperate."

Nobel laureate Douglass North (center) with economics head Dick Arnould (l) and faculty member Lee Alston, who studied with North at the University of Washington.