Dr. Leslie Heaphy Named Ohio's "College History Teacher of the Year"

Dr. Leslie Heaphy received the Ohio College History Teacher of the Year award.The positive impact that a quality professor has on students, fellow faculty, staff and the community is immeasurable. According to a nomination for the Ohio Academy of History’s 2015 Distinguished Teaching Award, Kent State University at Stark’s Associate Professor Leslie Heaphy, Ph.D., is “the total package in the classroom.”

Since 1981, the organization has been recognizing faculty in their mid- or late careers who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to teaching and service in Ohio. The award committee was impressed with the amount of time Heaphy spends – inside and outside the classroom – working with students. “We noted Leslie’s inclusion of skills that demonstrate the “doing” of history and challenge students to get involved in the profession,” says the award committee chair, Dr. Amy Bosworth. “Her extensive committee work at Kent State focused on teaching and curriculum. She demonstrates a true and impressive dedication to teaching.” 

“I was honored to receive this award from my colleagues and peers. I feel quite humbled to be included with the list of other winners over the years, including my advisor and mentor from my Ph.D. program, Dr. Ronald Lora of University of Toledo, who was a previous winner,” says Heaphy.

A Kent State Stark faculty member since 1995, Heaphy proficiently teaches a wide range of history courses; serves as the Honors Program coordinator; is elected to faculty leadership positions by her peers; participates in numerous student life activities on campus; and regularly volunteers for service learning projects in the community. She is also a known expert on baseball history. In addition to publishing dozens of books, articles and encyclopedia entries on the Negro Leagues and women in baseball, she served on the selection committee to vote inductees into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. In fall 2014, the Society for American Baseball Research, an organization of more than 6,000 baseball professionals worldwide, honored Heaphy with the Bob Davids Award, their highest distinction.

Heaphy’s dedication to her profession has been widely acknowledged. She was a finalist for the Kent State University Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award three times, winning the award in 2013. Students have nominated her for the Kent State Stark Distinguished Teaching Award eight times. In 1997 and 2002, she was named as a finalist, and in 2003 and 2009, she was the recipient of this prestigious and competitive honor. Additional accolades include the Honors College Teaching Award and a citation for the Excellence in Education Recognition Program from Ohio magazine.

In his nomination letter, Stark Campus Assistant Professor James Seelye, Ph.D., says that Heaphy “knows her subjects inside and out, which is all the more impressive considering the number and variety of classes she teaches; she knows her students and cares about them; she is passionate; she is effective in conveying information and making it relevant for students of all majors; and she is rigorous.”

For more information about the Ohio Academy of History, visit www.ohioacademyofhistory.org.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 8:33am
UPDATED: Monday, July 13, 2015 - 9:13am
Kent State University at Stark