Aviation Professor Soars to New Heights With Outstanding Teaching Award
When an individual has a passion for teaching, dedication to mentoring and devotion to aviation, he tends to go above and beyond in the classroom. This level of commitment to student success by Richard Mangrum, Ed.D., professor and graduate program coordinator in Kent State University's College of Aeronautics and Engineering, is what led to him being conferred with an Outstanding Teaching Award.
The Outstanding Teaching Award is given to three nontenure-track and part-time faculty members for being among the most dedicated, highly effective and motivated professors at the university each year. Winners are nominated by peers, students and alumni. The University Teaching Council presents the awards at a luncheon award ceremony.
“As cliché as it sounds, I was just beyond happy to even be included as a nominee in a group of people who have accomplished so much,” Dr. Mangrum says. “My whole life has been about aviation and flight programs, so to have a group of peers and students evaluate what I’ve done and agree that it was worthy of an award was so humbling.”
Keeping up to date with the aviation industry is something Dr. Mangrum takes pride in doing.
“I maintain currency by continuing to get certificates and licenses so my students can rely on me as a relevant and accurate source,” Dr. Mangrum says. “When I’m teaching a class, I always like to ask myself if I am teaching them relevant stuff that would make me feel safe enough to have my family on their flight.”
That teaching philosophy has not gone unnoticed.
“Aviation is not just his career choice or some casual hobby, it is his lifestyle,” says alumnus Kyle Ferguson, ’16, who nominated Dr. Mangrum for the award. “His passion for aviation and teaching is what makes him such a great professor and worthy of this award.”
Mr. Ferguson says that he decided to nominate Dr. Mangrum due to his passion for mentorship in and out of the classroom.
“Not only is Dr. Mangrum willing to help students in the classroom, he has always gone above and beyond outside the classroom,” Mr. Ferguson says. “He started a Facebook group for recent graduates to keep in touch and post relevant job opportunities.”
Dr. Mangrum says he takes pride in being a resource for students and graduates.
“My goal is that students see me as someone who is going to help them along their journey and that requires me to maintain relationships with them beyond college,” Dr. Mangrum says. “I aim to be a source that they know will be there for guidance at any stage of life.”
For more information about the Outstanding Teaching Awards, visit www.kent.edu/utc/teaching-awards.