Outstanding Teaching Awards for Kent State’s Best Educators
Every year, the University Teaching Council recognizes Kent State’s outstanding full-time, nontenure-track and part-time faculty by awarding three educators with the Outstanding Teaching Awards. This award is presented annually to faculty members who consistently showcase astounding skills in classroom teaching.
The University Teaching Council is proud to present this year’s nominees.
David Graff, Department of Sociology, Kent State University at Tuscarawas
David Graff has had the honor of being nominated for the Outstanding Teaching Award before and winning the Distinguished Teaching Award at Kent State University at Tuscarawas in 2008. He has also been honored with several graduate applause cards in the past. To Graff, these accomplishments, which are student-driven and come from students, is what teaching is about –- the ability to reach the students, to make a difference in their lives and to influence them.
Robin Joynes, Department of Psychology, Kent Campus
Robin Joynes has been teaching in the Department of Psychology for more than 12 years, having prepared and taught five different courses and instructed more than 7,000 students. Recently, she was asked by her department chair to co-teach the College Teaching course where first-time graduate instructors are taught the art of teaching an effective course in the department. Joynes was honored to take on this responsibility and help coach this new generation of outstanding educators. She finds it extremely rewarding to watch young instructors find their voice in the classroom.
Mary Beth Lukach, College of Nursing, Kent State University at Trumbull
Mary Beth Lukach strives to convey her passion and excitement for teaching and nursing by motivating her students to learn and make a difference in the lives of their patients. Her most rewarding teaching moments are getting to know the students and watch them succeed in school and in the nursing profession. Her goal is to engage by providing examples from her clinical expertise to help the students grasp the theoretical concepts and make the connection between the textbook and real life situations. She finds it very gratifying to watch her students mature and grow — from sophomores to seniors — as learners and nurses.
Archana Mehta, School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, Kent Campus
Archana Mehta has been teaching at Kent State since 2006. Before joining academics she worked in the Indian garment-export industry. In India she taught at the Pearl Academy of Fashion in New Delhi and was also a guest faculty member with the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad. Mehta loves to interact with students and that is why she chose a profession in academics. Her students are her priority. Mehta’s success lies with students who are struggling in her class. She works with them to help them understand the subject and improve their proficiency.
Fetna Mikati, Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Kent Campus
Fetna Mikati believes her proudest moments are her students’ achievements. She is honored to have helped her students get into prestigious Arabic programs at other colleges, and to have inspired them to study abroad. Her proudest moments involve knowing she has made a difference and touched her students’ lives. On the professional level, her most noteworthy accomplishment was her selection by the National Foreign Language Center as one of only 10 world language teachers to be featured in videos demonstrating best practices.
Janet Wolf, School of Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum Studies, Kent Campus
Janet Wolf is inspired by her students; they bring her joy. Her journey at the university has allowed her to compose assignments, lesson plans and inspirational moments, and reap the benefits of joyful outcomes. Wolf hopes to share those joyful outcomes with her students as they step into “her world” of early childhood music, seeing it as an opportunity to reach the heart and mind of young children. Wolf was inspired when several of her students wore “I heart Jan Wolf” T-shirts on the last day of the Fall 2011 Semester.
Susan Zimmerman, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Kent Campus
Susan Zimmerman worked as a career journalist, including three years as a full-time Reuters Cleveland correspondent. She joined Kent State in 2004 and her focus has been a class called Media Writing. She is notorious for “Everything You Need to Know About Grammar,” a 30-page handout. She believes journalists must be “meticulous grammarians.” Zimmerman’s proudest moment was finding out that one of her former students keeps her handout on the desk as a “ready reference tool.” She has also taught at Cuyahoga and Lakeland community colleges.