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46th Annual Distinguished Teaching Award Nominees

Posted Sep. 30, 2013

Each year, the Kent State University Alumni Association recognizes Kent State’s outstanding faculty members by awarding three nominated educators with the Distinguished Teaching Award. In order to be nominated, faculty members must have been employed at the university for at least seven years and be in a tenure-track position.

The Distinguished Teaching Award is the most prestigious award that Kent State accords to full-time, tenure-track faculty members. Recipients of the award also receive a $1,500 cash prize and a crystal apple, and they are honored at the annual University Teaching Council’s fall conference, “Celebrating College Teaching,” which observes its 20th anniversary this year and will be held on Thursday, Oct. 24, and Friday, Oct. 25.

The Kent State Alumni Association is proud to announce and congratulate this year’s finalists!

Ann Abraham, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Kent State Ashtabula

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Ann Abraham

Ann Abraham’s passion for chemistry is easily noticed by her students. Kelly Macino, nursing major, who nominated Abraham, says, “Dr. Abraham’s enthusiasm for chemistry is unparalleled. When she talks about chemistry, there is a light about her.” Abraham is also helpful to students outside the classroom. Deborah Keyes, nursing major, says, “She genuinely cares about all her students and makes attempts to know them on a personal level.”

Lisa Audet, School of Health Sciences, Kent Campus

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Lisa Audet

Lisa Audet’s method of teaching helps her students truly understand the material. She approaches subject matter with an enthusiasm and depth that inspires students. Richelle Lefler, autism intervention specialist major, says, “I feel like one of the most blessed individuals because she is a wealth of knowledge. I hope to be half the teacher she is some day.”

Rosemarie Bank
, School of Theatre and Dance, Kent Campus

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Rosemarie Bank

Rosemarie Bank pushes students so they can be better than what they ever thought they could be. Ashley Foster, theatre major, says “She sees something in everyone and won’t settle for anything less than the best.” Wesley Doucette, theatre studies and art history major, says Bank allows her students to feel that they can change the world through theatre. “Her passion for the art is infectious,” says Doucette.

Irene Edge, Department of Computer Science, Kent State Ashtabula

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Irene Edge

Irene Edge is prepared to help her students, not just during the class but also outside the classroom. Rita Hennigan, application development major, says, “In preparation for the collegiate conference, Ms. Edge has given up a lot of her time to help train students for certifications and competitions.” Edge also finds ways to challenge her students daily. Christopher Nottingham, applied computer security and forensics major, says, “As a student with significant practical knowledge in the area of technology, I rarely found myself bored or unchallenged during the course.”

Leslie Heaphy, Department of History, Kent State Stark

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Leslie Heaphy

Leslie Heaphy is interactive with students to encourage them to think about what she is teaching them. Beth Conway, Kent State alumna, says, “I love that she will ask the ‘why’ questions and encourage group discussion about the underlying reasoning of things.” Heaphy is always willing to help students of all majors. Robert Simms, history major, says, “I think that Dr. Heaphy lives at Kent State Stark because she is always there to help any student at any time.”

Catherine Leslie, School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, Kent Campus

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Catherine Leslie

Catherine Leslie helps her students learn about fashion through unique ways. Yuberniz Orengo, fashion merchandising major, says, “She challenges you to think about the course by connecting it to the real world and real case studies of the industry.” Leslie goes out of her way to help students succeed. Melissa K. Ruppert, Kent State alumna, says, “Through all the resources that she gives students, Dr. Leslie makes it possible for every student to shine.”

Jacqueline Marino, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Kent Campus

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Jacqueline Marino

Jacqueline Marino’s enthusiasm for magazine journalism is evident to her students. Anthony Dominic, magazine journalism major, says, “Simply put, Jacquie lives and breathes narrative journalism.” Marino truly cares about her students and their work. “I have had countless conversations with my peers about her unparalleled ability to motivate and inspire in the classroom,” says Dominic. 

Deborah Smith, Department of Philosophy, Kent

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Deborah Smith

Deborah Smith’s passion for philosophy can be seen in the way she grades papers. Kevin Lower, philosophy major, says, “Her comments alone often take up three to five pages, which can be over half the length of our original papers.” Smith also opens herself up to be a resource for students. Anthony Paridon, philosophy major, says, “She is really approachable and takes great time to learn about her students to help them excel.”