The Department of History is proud to announce that Stefan Djordjevic, associate director of undergraduate studies and director of advising, has been awarded the LAS Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising. 

Out of the 14 recipients of the 2024 teaching and advising awards, Djordjevic was the only advisor to receive an award. “We are proud to have such an impressive group of people advancing our vital teaching and advising goals,” said Venetria K. Patton, the Harry E. Preble Dean of the College of LAS. “We received exceptional feedback from students and alumni about them. They truly devote themselves to preparing others for the future.”   

Working as an academic advisor in the Department of History for the past five years, Djordjevic receives much credit for growth and expansion in the undergraduate program, and he works with partners on and off campus to find student internships, develop curriculum policies, and other duties. “I have never seen someone so passionately dedicated to the undergraduate experience and so willing to run through walls, grind through processes, and otherwise do anything and everything possible to help students,” wrote history professor Marc Hertzman. 

Students Justin Wytmar (president of Phi Alpha Theta and the Undergraduate History Journal at Illinois) and Isabella Sauer (president of the Society of Minority Students in History) described Djordjevic in their nomination letter as universally admired by history undergraduates and as a “head and shoulders above all other academic advisors at the University of Illinois.” They wrote, “Stefan’s dedication to his students is unparalleled. He is willing to spend hours helping his students navigate academic, financial, and personal challenges ... In addition to providing course recommendations, Stefan’s easy-going nature and suggestions of Champaign-Urbana’s best restaurants, cheese stores, ice cream parlors, and wine bars make his office a place of safety and welcome for incoming freshmen and graduating seniors alike.” 

Djordjevic describes his advising philosophy as “founded on the conviction that students will be the most fulfilled intellectually and personally when they find a path that corresponds to their unique passions, interests, skills, and professional goals. So, while they will graduate from the University of Illinois with a diploma and transcript in hand, they will foremost come away with a record of personal achievement on which to reflect on and gain confidence from in the future. My job is to help them find that path, and, to help them recognize that the road will sometimes be windy and difficult to navigate.” 

As a historian, he specializes in the cultural history of the Balkans and East-Central Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. His research focuses on the legacy of the Great War and the impact that war had on the formation of national and supra-national identities. Stefan teaches courses on the Ottoman Empire, the Modern Balkans, The World Wars, and public history methods. This summer, he will partner with Marco Jaimes to teach a study abroad program (HIST 354: 20th Century Europe in Prague) in Prague.