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EIU Faculty Senate

EIU Distinguished Faculty Award

One of the most prestigious honors available to EIU faculty, the Distinguished Faculty Award is presented each spring to the faculty member or department chair who best exemplifies achievement in teaching/performance of primary duties, research/creative activity, and service.

Robert Colombo

Dr. Robert Colombo earned his Bachelor of Science degree at the State University of New York, Syracuse. He came to Illinois to study the Zoology of Fish at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and stayed. After earning his M.S. and PhD. at SIU-C, Dr. Colombo headed up I-57 to Charleston to join the faculty of Eastern Illinois University, where he has pursued his distinguished career for almost 15 years.

Dr. Colombo has been wildly prolific in his research. Since joining EIU in 2009, he has published 37 peer-reviewed manuscripts with 26 of those manuscripts containing EIU student coauthors. publishing research on everything from the size of the population of fish in the Wabash River to the effects of climate change on the DNA of bluegill sunfish, from the presence of invasive fish species in Illinois to how to estimate the age of fish. He has been awarded over four million dollars in external funding and has earned four Achievement and Contribution Awards for Research. He was the 2012 and 2022 recipient of the Edwin L. “Bud” May Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research and Grants.

Dr. Colombo also won an Achievement and Contribution Award in service in 2013, and he continues to provide exemplary service to his department, the University, the field of Fisheries Biology, and the community. He has chaired or served on many faculty search committees within the department of Biological Sciences as well as a variety of other departmental committees; he is the faculty advisor for three student organizations. At the university level, Dr. Colombo has served on the Enrollment Management Committee, the Achievement and Contribution Awards Committee, Institutional Athletic Board, and the Council on Faculty Research among other committees. He has been on both the American Fisheries Society (Illinois Chapter) Environmental Concerns Committee and the Esocid Technical Committee (which focuses on the study of Pike and other related types of fish) for over 10 years. Dr. Colombo developed an age and growth workshop for Catfish 2020 the international ictalurid symposium and in 2022 he was the Keynote speaker at the Mississippi River Research Consortium in Lacrosse, Wi. For the community, Dr. Colombo has conducted outreach programs taking the field of the biology to high schools around Central Illinois by developing biology research programs twice a year.

On top of it all, Dr. Colombo has not neglected teaching. He has been awarded the Rodney S. Ranes Outstanding Graduate Faculty Mentor Award and the College of Sciences Student Advisory Board Outstanding Faculty Award. Dr. Colombo teaches a very large and diverse list of courses over the years, including courses (such as Human Anatomy or Endocrinology) that fall outside his field of expertise. Many of his students have won awards from EIU as well as at the state, regional, and national levels.

Dr. Robert Colombo certainly is a distinguished member of the Eastern Illinois University faculty and is well deserving to be acknowledged as such with the Distinguished Faculty Award!


Past Recipients of the Distinguished Faculty Award 

2022 Jeff Stowell (Psychology)
2022 Grant Sterling (Philosophy)
2021 Don Holly (Anthropology)
2020 Rebecca Tadlock-Marlow (Counseling and Higher Education)
2019 Newton Key (History)
2018 Gary Aylesworth (Philosophy)
2017 Linda Ghent (Economics)
2016 Lynne Curry (History)
2015 William Addison (Psychology)
2014 Andrew S. Methven (Biological Sciences)
2013 Melanie Mills (Communication Studies)
2012 Bailey K. Young (History)
2011 David Raybin (English)
2010 Janet Marquardt (Art)
2009 David Radavich (English)
2008 Robert U. Fischer (Biological Sciences)
2007 Roger Beck (History)
2006 Ruth Hoberman (English)
2005 Roger Luft (Technology)
2004 John Best (Psychology)
2003 Luis Clay Mendez (Foreign Languages)
William G. Kirk (Psychology)
2002 David A. Carpenter (English)
George P. Sanders (Music)
2001 Bruce Guernsey (English)
2000 Gail J. Richard (Communication Disorders and Sciences)
1999 Susan Kaufman (Journalism)
1998 Frank McCormick (English)
1997 Marylin Lisowski (Early Childhood, Elementary and Middle-Level Education)
1996 Giles Henderson (Chemistry)
Ronald Gary Wallace (Geology/Geography)
1995 Bill Heyduck (Art)
1994 Robert N. Barger (Secondary Education and Foundations)
1993 Kandy Baumgardner (Zoology)
1992 M. Lee Steinmetz (English)
1991 Kipp C. Kruse (Zoology)
1990 Ruth Dow (Home Economics)
1989 Lawrence B. Hunt (Zoology)
James Quivey (English)
Robert B. Sonderman (Technology)
1988 Michael Goodrich (Zoology)
Richard Keiter (Chemistry)
1987 June M. Krutza (Art)
John David Reed (Journalism)
1986 Alan R. Aulabaugh (Music)
Catherine A. Smith (Music)
1985 Eugene B. Krehbiel (Zoology)
Donald F. Tingley (History)
1984 Jerome J. Rooke (Accountancy, Data Processing and Finance)
1983 Wayne Thurman (Speech Pathology and Audiology)
Lynn Edgar Trank (Art)
1982 E. Glendon Gabbard (Theatre Arts)
Lavern Hamand (History)
Leonard Wood (History and Cooperative Education)
1981 Joseph T. Connelly (Political Science)
Lucina P. Gabbard (English)
1980 Michael B. Leyden (Elementary and Junior High School Education)
Lawrence A. Ringenberg (Mathematics)
1979 Edward O. Moll (Zoology)
John E. Price (Music)


Related Pages

Contact Information

Faculty Senate

Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920

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