Devoted Geography Professor at Kent State Ashtabula Wins Outstanding Teaching Award

“It is rewarding when I can give a student, who originally believed themselves incapable of succeeding, a vision for their future,” said Assistant Professor Katherine Amey, Ph.D., department of geography at Kent State University at Ashtabula. Amey spent six years helping students overcome their own academic and scientific insecurities and leading them to success. This dedication led Amey to earn one of 2019's Outstanding Teaching Awards.

“I am thrilled to receive the 2019 Outstanding Teaching Award,” Amey said. “It feels amazing to be acknowledged for what is truly a passion of mine and a profession that I put my whole heart into.”

The Outstanding Teaching Award honors three full-time, non-tenure track and part-time faculty members who flourish in their positions and who strive to create the best learning environment for students. The Outstanding Teaching Award is sponsored by the University Teaching Council. Faculty members are nominated by students or alumni.

Out of the 15 courses Amey has taught at Kent State, she prides herself on being able to make a connection with every student she meets.

“I try to learn about each of my students personally and get to know everyone’s name early in the semester no matter the class size.”

Along with the strong relationships she maintains with students, Amey makes the experience engaging and makes sure the subjects she teaches are easy to understand.

“She made physical geography fun and used visuals to help me and my classmates better understand the subject,” a student wrote in her nomination letter for Amey. “Dr. Amey was very passionate about her job and the subjects she taught. She is one of the best professors that I have ever had.”

Amey not only makes sure the subjects she teaches are straightforward and simple, she works hard to make the learning environment equal for all.

“My proudest moment was undoubtedly when an autistic student of mine struggled and finally got an A on an exam,” Amey said. “I have learned how to make my courses accessible to all learning styles and abilities, which is rewarding when a student that once thought ‘I can’t do science’ or ‘I will never be able to learn this material’ ends up excelling in my course.”

This award has allowed Amey to recognize the impact of all she does, she knows she is on the right path and is not in the wrong in the way she cares for her students.

“The students in Ashtabula are by far the best thing about Kent State. I love their quick wit, sense of humor and kindness,” Amey said.

In her time at Kent State Ashtabula, Amey has been involved in numerous organizations outside of the classroom.

Currently, she works as the student life coordinator for all clubs and organizations, is involved in the Kent State chapter of the American Association for University Professors under both the Full-Time Non-Tenure Track and Non-Tenure Track chapter units, is a faculty member of Undergraduate Student Government, works in a fundraising committee for the United Way Campaign and in a student complaint committee in the geography department.

The Outstanding Teaching Award is awarded to those who uphold Kent State’s mission, vision and values. Amey does each of these through her continued involvement in students’ education and through her support and passion for the students, school and her colleagues.

“I am moved by this special recognition set aside for teachers. It is an exceptional and palpable thank you for a profession which often goes un-thanked. This award is sincerely an added bonus,” Amey said.

Amey was celebrated at the University Teaching Council’s Celebrating College Teaching conference luncheon and awards ceremony on Oct. 25, 2019. For more information on the Outstanding Teaching Award, visit

Learn more about Amey and her work

POSTED: Thursday, January 30, 2020 - 10:40am
UPDATED: Thursday, January 30, 2020 - 10:40am
Leah Marxen