John Clyde and Henrietta Downey Spitler Teaching Award

The John Clyde and Henrietta Downey Spitler Teaching Award recognizes outstanding faculty teaching as it is broadly defined, to include all instructional activities of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

Mildred Spitler Johnson of Urbana provided funds to establish this award in 1988 in honor of her parents, John Clyde and Henrietta Downey Spitler. John Clyde Spitler began his early work with the Cooperative Extension Service in 1917 and in 1932 was appointed state leader of farm advisers. He served as assistant director of agricultural and home economics extension from 1937 to 1943 and as associate director from 1943 until his retirement in 1949.

The Award

Each year the College presents one John Clyde and Henrietta Downey Spitler Teaching Award in recognition of outstanding contributions in education through public service, including those instructional activities sponsored by University of Illinois Extension. The award includes a $2,000 unrestricted personal award and a certificate of recognition.


Nominees must be a faculty member (specialized faculty or tenure-track) who holds a full-time appointment in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. 

Individuals on disability, sabbatical leave, and leave without pay are also eligible. Members of the faculty who are full-time administrators are not eligible for the award. 

A faculty member may receive this award only once. If an issue arises concerning the eligibility for an award, the issue will be decided by the appropriate associate dean and policy committee chair, depending upon the award for which the nomination has been made.


The nominee must be declared eligible by the unit head. Each department may only nominate one nominee per award. The nomination must be submitted electronically by the department contact before the nomination deadline.

Nomination packets must include all materials described below in a single PDF and should be formatted in at least 11-point Calibri or equivalent font; single-spaced; and 1-inch margins. Please follow this outline when submitting a nomination:

1. Nomination cover sheet(you must download the form from Box to complete it). The cover sheet includes biographical and statistical information including education, employment record, and relevant affiliations.

2. Letter of nomination: The letter of nomination must be co-signed by the nominator and the unit head. The letter should include major contributions in teaching. Contributions to unit and college goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion should be noted (six page maximum).

3. Letters of support: No more than three letters of support from individuals other than the nominator, such as past or present colleagues or collaborators. One letter must be from a current ACES faculty/staff member (two page maximum).


Nominees will be evaluated, and the award recipient selected by the appropriate college level advisory/policy committee. The chair of the selection committee, in consultation with its members, shall develop guidelines for its operation. The committee will consider the achievements and contributions of the nominee for excellence in education through public service.

The selection committee may decide against granting an award if no meritorious candidate has been nominated. The selection committee shall submit its recommendations for a recipient to the dean. The dean shall notify the recipient, the appropriate associate dean, and unit head.