Alex Shakar is professor in the Department of English. He’s an invaluable member of the Creative Writing Program and has appeared on the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent a total of 10 different semesters during his time at Illinois, with four of those appearances being for two different courses in a single semester. Shakar takes great care in structuring his lesson plans, as demonstrated through his ability to succeed in running a smooth class for his students during the pandemic and virtual classes. His nominator recounted how, during a blizzard, Shakar lost his Zoom connection. Instead of canceling class, he ventured into the storm, found an Internet hotspot, and proceeded to teach the rest of the class via phone. Said one student, “the fact that the class was genuinely excited that we got to finish the class period says much about [Alex’s] teaching ability.”
Shakar was one of fourteen individuals honored for their service to students. To read more about the LAS Awards in Teaching, see the announcement from LAS.