Kent State Nursing Professor Wins Outstanding Teaching Award
Journaling, case studies, simulation, role modeling, questioning, humor, games and YouTube videos – what do these things have in common? They are all used as teaching methods by Mary Beth Lukach, assistant professor with the College of Nursing at Kent State University at Trumbull, who was recently awarded a 2012 Outstanding Teaching Award.
According to those who nominated her, Lukach constantly exhibits skills that successfully educate her students in an interesting, informative ways and she also strives to convey her passion and excitement for nursing when interacting with students.
This prestigious award is presented annually by the University Teaching Council to full-time, nontenure-track and part-time faculty members who consistently exhibit remarkable skills in classroom teaching. As part of the final selection process, the nominees submit a teaching portfolio containing items which best exemplify their teaching career at Kent State.
Lukach’s goal is to engage students by providing examples from her clinical expertise and past work experiences to help students grasp theoretical concepts and make the connection between the textbook and real-life situations.
“I am vested in their academic and professional success and want to motivate them to see that learning is a life-long endeavor that goes beyond the classroom and clinical setting,” says Lukach. “If I can challenge students to think and reason critically, showing them the value and importance in what they are learning, they are more responsive and empowered to take ownership of their education and learning needs.”
Kent State alumna Becky Barreca, ‘11, says that Lukach is a shining example of educational excellence, a leader among her fellow peers and is the nursing foundation for all sophomore students.
“She is caring, creative, energetic and humorous,” Barreca says. “Her lively animations draw and sustain student attention and she infuses lectures with humorous stories and clinical anecdotes. I will never forget the support and encouragement she offered during my journey as a student.”
Lindzi Hamilton, senior nursing student, says Lukach is an excellent instructor, as well as a wonderful role model, counselor and friend.
“Mrs. Lukach makes learning fun. Her enthusiasm and joy for what she does is infectious. She stimulated us to learn and provided a fun and compassionate environment for us to grow in,” Hamilton says.
Lukach’s greatest moments during her teaching career include receiving this honor and seeing her students mature and progress in the nursing program as they grow in their proficiency level, intellectual abilities and interpersonal communication skills.
“My greatest joy is when I receive an email or card from a past student that has graduated or when I see them out in the community or hospital setting and they relay how my teaching style, class or what I said or did helped prepare them for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and for their nursing profession,” says Lukach. “I feel honored that I have made a difference in their lives, inspiring them to be passionate in the care and comfort of others who are physically or mentally ill.”
For more information about the Outstanding Teaching Award, visit www.kent.edu/utc/teaching_award/index.cfm.