45th Annual Distinguished Teaching Award
Every year, the Kent State University Alumni Association recognizes Kent State’s outstanding faculty members by awarding three nominated educators with the Distinguished Teaching Award. To be nominated, faculty members must have been employed at the university for at least seven years and be in a tenure-track position.
This is one of the most prestigious awards a Kent State faculty member can receive, and in addition to the award, they receive a $1,500 cash prize, a crystal apple and are honored at the University Teaching Council’s fall conference — Celebrating College Teaching — held this year on Friday, Oct. 26.
The Kent State Alumni Association is proud to announce and congratulate this year’s nominees!
Rosemarie Bank, School of Theatre and Dance, Kent Campus
Rosemarie Bank encourages her theatre students to think critically for themselves. Sarah Coon, theatre studies major, nominated Bank and says, “She wants to lead you to discoveries, not spoon-feed you information.” She has a passion for the subject that has garnered much respect from students. Wesley Doucette, theatre history student, is thankful for the ways she challenged him. “She gives us this drive and the tools to use it in any field of performance we wish to pursue,” Doucette says.
Cynthia Barb, Department of Mathematical Science, Kent State University at Stark
Cynthia Barb’s unique approach to teaching difficult material has proven effective for her students. Clara Dourm, math student, finds that Barb “orchestrates that subject matter so that the information flows from [one] concept to the next like a beautiful piece of music.” Barb’s knack for simplifying concepts has allowed her students to understand even the most difficult ones.
Jessie Carduner, Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Kent Campus
Jessie Carduner’s passion for the Spanish language stimulates her students to have a deeper interest. She is willing to devote time to all of her students and challenges them to develop a full understanding of the language. “One of the greatest things about Dr. Carduner is her ability to listen,” Morgan Greer, a Spanish translation major who nominated Carduner, says. “She took an interest not only in my success as a student, but in my personal life as well.”
Rebecca Chism, Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Kent Campus
Rebecca Chism uses examples from her own studies and experiences to increase student understanding. Students in Chism’s classes learn through experience, as she often asks them to perform teaching lessons on the spot. “She understands and sympathizes with where students are and helps to challenge, as well to develop, their knowledge of how to overcome any obstacles.” Dayle Meyer, a Spanish major, says.
Don-John Dugas, Department of English, Kent Campus
Don-John Dugas’ immense enthusiasm for the subjects he teaches has left a lasting impact on many English students. His lectures contextualize the material and make it relevant and interesting. “His lectures are more engaging than most television programs,” Heather Kaley, English and classics major, says. Shelby Handshue, who took Dugas’ Shakespeare class, enjoys his interactive assignments and enthusiastic lectures. “Kent State should be proud they found such a great teacher,” Handshue says.
Jennifer Maxwell, Department of Political Science, Kent Campus
Jennifer Maxwell strives to create a special connection with each of her political science students. In addition, she is approachable and motivates her students to think deeply about the subject. Phyllis Vair, conflict management major, sought Maxwell outside of class to further pursue topics and found that she was open “up to cross-culture and the importance of being receptive . . . of others.”
Julie Mazzei, Department of Political Science, Kent Campus
Julie Mazzei’s unique energy creates an inviting learning environment that encourages students to actively participate. Christopher Clevenger, political science major, summed up Mazzei’s impact on political science students. “She has successfully engaged her students, actively motivating them to take a real interest in the field of political science, bettering not only themselves, but also the lives of those around them,” Clevenger says.
Vilma Seeberg, School of Foundation, Leadership and Administration, Kent Campus
Vilma Seeberg challenges her students to make a difference in their environments. Her lectures promote “individual growth and passion for the field of culture awareness and equity,” Belkis Torres-Capeles, education major, says. She instructs her students through not only organized lectures, but by being a positive example as well.
Alexander Seed, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Kent Campus
Alexander Seed’s students walk away from his classes with an understanding and enthusiasm for the subject of organic chemistry. His dedication to his students guarantees their success in understanding the most difficult concepts. Melissa Karno, who took basic organic chemistry, says she has “never had a professor who dedicates the amount of time to his student’s success as Dr. Seed does.”
Patricia Tomich, Department of Psychology, Kent State University at Trumbull
Patricia Tomich’s expertise in the field of psychology has sparked her students to develop a love for the subject. Shameka Hall, psychology major, has taken several of Tomich’s classes and nominated Tomich for the Distinguished Teaching Award. “The psychology courses taken with her become more than just ‘necessary’ classes, but become these wonderful opportunities for insight and growth!” Hall says. Tomich genuinely cares for each of her students and strives to ensure student understanding.