Experienced Journalism Professor Earns Her Favorite Award Yet
Jacqueline Marino, professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, dropped all of her papers when she heard the door to her Feature Writing class open while she was lecturing in October. The colleagues with cameras and balloons meant she had won the Kent State University Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award. The professor, whose enthusiasm for student success transfers to those who know her, has taught at Kent State University since 2006.
The Distinguished Teaching Award has been sponsored by the Kent State University Alumni Association since 1967. Three faculty members receive the award every year.
According to Marino, simply being acknowledged for her teaching at Kent State is an honor in itself.
“I enjoy the classroom experience so much,” Marino said. “I love the dynamic. Most of the students that I end up having in my classroom are as excited about journalism as I am.”
The email stating she was a finalist arrived as she was standing in the checkout line at Costco, Marino recalled.
“I was so thrilled,” Marino said. “I was also a little bit apprehensive because I had been nominated once before, and it was six years ago. I just assumed that this was me making the finals again. Honestly, I was thrilled if it stopped at that point. It means a lot to even be in the top 10.”
In a letter of support, Connie Schultz, a journalist for roughly four decades and a professional in residence at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, said Marino is one of the main reasons she agreed to return to her alma mater.
“When it comes to teaching, I aspire to be Jacquie Marino,” Schultz said. “Her joy for the work is contagious, and her devotion to her students is unrivaled.”
Many students describe Marino’s feedback as descriptive and thought-provoking, while Marino herself provides inspiration to student writers.
“Jacquie is so full of wisdom and life advice,” one student wrote in a class evaluation. “She’s an incredible writer, teaching ‘okay’ writers to be incredible.”
Marino said seeing students realize their full potential is when she feels most proud.
“I feel like every semester I have a student or a former student who gets some kind of recognition, like an award or a competitive internship,” Marino said.
In the future, Marino plans on living up to the award with the continuation of top-notch performance in the classroom. She encourages writers and teachers to have their own style and their own voice.
“We need to find our style in the classroom,” Marino said. “Every group of students is different; every dynamic is different. You are always you. As professors, our job is to relay the material but also the excitement about the subject.”
Marino was celebrated at the University Teaching Council’s Fall Celebration of Teaching Conference on Friday, Oct. 25, with the other Distinguished Teaching Award and the Outstanding Teaching Award recipients.
For more information about Marino’s work, visit www.kent.edu/jmc/profile/jacqueline-marino/.
Banner Photo: Kevin Dilley