Celebrating College Teaching Conference

School of Communication Studies

Each year, the Kent State University Teaching Council hosts the Celebrating College Teaching Conference.

At the conference, faculty members who “have made a difference in the life of a student” are recognized and receive a formal certificate from the Office of the Provost.

On Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, four School of Communication Studies faculty members were honored with a Faculty Recognition Award at the University Teaching Council Conference. They are: (left to right) Sr. Lecturer Lisa Waite, Kent State at Stark; Associate Professor Suzy D’Enbeau, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor Aaron Bacue; and Part-time Instructor David Zachrich, Ph.D.

Kent State collects recommendations from students throughout the year for these awards. Students recognize instructors who have motivated them to gain unique knowledge and insight or who may have helped them to become engaged and responsible university students.

Learn more about the UTC, the annual conference and the awards on the UTC website.

David Trebing, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Communication Studies, was named one of six university-wide finalists for the 2017 Outstanding Teaching Awards.

Sponsored by the Kent State University Teaching Council, the Outstanding Teaching Award honors outstanding teaching by non-tenure track and part-time faculty at Kent State University. The award parallels the Distinguished Teaching Awards sponsored by the Kent Alumni Association, which recognizes full-time faculty who demonstrate extraordinary teaching in the classroom and a devotion to touching the lives of students.

Trebing says he’s gratified most “when a student gets 'it.' My proudest moments are the lightbulb moments; those when my students’ writing and speaking improve; those when they tell me how much they get out of my class.”

 “While [being named a finalist] is an amazing accomplishment, what makes it even more amazing is this is the second time in the last five years that David has been a finalist for this prestigious university-wide award,” shared COMM Professor Paul Haridakis, Ph.D. “It more than confirms what we already know: How fortunate we and our students are to be associated with this phenomenal and gifted – yet humble – teacher, mentor and role model.”  

The University Teaching Council (UTC) will host the 24th Annual Celebrating College Teaching Conference on Friday, Oct. 20 in the Kent Student Center for a day of dialogue with Kent State University faculty, featuring interactive roundtables and engaging poster sessions.

At the UTC conference, Lisa Waite, senior lecturer in the School of Communication Studies at Stark, will co-present “To Pun or Not to Pun: That is the Question” with Jerry Lewis, Kent State sociology professor emeritus of sociology.

Waite and Lewis will discuss the use of humor in the college classroom and how it can be used as an effective teaching tool and learning aid. Both have researched the topic and will discuss the theme of humor in teaching methods, while also discussing humor when it does not come naturally in the classroom.

“Using humor can lead to better learning, not just more learning. Quoting Victor Borge, ‘There is more logic in humor than in anything else. Because, you see humor is truth,’” Waite said.

Session attendees will explore the different methods of humor, including when to avoid it, and how to effectively lighten up the classroom with humor.

All conference events and presentations are free, but registration is required by Oct. 18: http://bit.ly/2yW8ejp.

The conference will close with a dessert reception honoring the recipients of the Distinguished and Outstanding Teaching Awards.

For more information on the Celebrating College Teaching Conference, visit www.kent.edu/utc/annual-conference.


On October 24, six Kent State educators (five from the College of Arts and Sciences) were honored for their achievements in the classroom during the 21st annual Celebrating College Teaching Conference.

Three faculty members received the Kent State University Alumni Association's Distinguished Teaching Award for demonstrating extraordinary teaching in the classroom and a commitment to impacting the lives of students. The Distinguished Teaching Award is the most prestigious award that Kent State accords to full-time, tenure-track faculty members. 

Three faculty members also received the Outstanding Teaching Award, sponsored by the University Teaching Council, which honors full-time, non-tenure track and part-time faculty who consistently demonstrate extraordinary skill in classroom teaching.

Recipients of the Distinguished Teaching Award are:


  • Rebecca Chism, Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies, Kent Campus
  • John Johnson, Department of Biological Sciences, Kent Campus
  • Clare Stacey, Department of Sociology, Kent Campus 


Recipients of the Outstanding Teaching Award are:


  • Melissa Dyer, College of Nursing, Kent Campus
  • Dan Ross, Department of Geography, Kent Campus
  • Beth Campbell, Department of Sociology, Stark Campus