Kent State Entrepreneurship Professor Receives Outstanding Teaching Award

With a passion for entrepreneurial endeavors and a knack for inspiring, Mary Heidler brings a fresh and enthusiastic approach into the classroom.

Ms. Heidler, a College of Business Administration lecturer, received the 2018 Outstanding Teaching Award.

The Outstanding Teaching Award credits full-time, non-tenure track and part-time members who are nominated by their students for being among the most dedicated, highly effective and motivated professors at the university. The OTA is presented by the University Teaching Council.

"It means so much since it is student nominated," Ms. Heidler said. "The fact that a student would take the time to nominate me when they lead incredibly busy lives, is so kind. It is wonderful to know that they believe in me as much as I believe in them."

Student nominators sent in letters of admiration and called attention to the energy Ms. Heidler brings to the classroom.
"Professor Heidler is one of the most enthusiastic professors I have ever had," a student nominator wrote.

Ms. Heidler began teaching at Kent State in 2011, and she currently teaches entrepreneurship courses in the College of Business Administration.

"I leverage the knowledge of entrepreneurship and marketing that I have learned via my education and startup experience and combine it with the background and life experiences each student brings to the classroom," Ms. Heidler said.

Students also applaud Ms. Heidler’s outlook on the field. One student states that she does more than lecture, she provides scenarios that apply to the real world and makes it easier to understand difficult concepts.

"She provides a new view on the field of entrepreneurship because she is so successful in this field, she provides real-life examples of what it is like to be in the field, which allows us students to grasp the information and put it to use when we are asked difficult questions," a student nominator wrote.

During her time at Kent State University, Ms. Heidler has developed and redeveloped face-to-face and online courses with as many as 600 students.

"I work very hard to get students to see their passions as potential business ideas and to challenge the status quo," Ms. Heidler said. "I want them to ask better questions, so I challenge them every day to ask heretical questions and look at life through an entrepreneurial lens in all their endeavors."

In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Ms. Heidler currently serves in a variety of other capacities including, Course Coordinator, Center for Entrepreneurship Committee Member and Sigma Nu Tau Honor Society (Kent State University Chapter) Faculty Advisor.

Ms. Heidler also worked with Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (Kent State Chapter), A Community of Entrepreneurs (Freshman Learning Community), Dunya Jeane (Student-run business and student organization), Rising Student Entrepreneur Pitch Competition and the Northeast Ohio Student Venture Fund (Kent State Chapter).

"Kent State students are truly on the brink of greatness each and every day, and I am glad that I am able to journey with them and mentor them as they work to accomplish their dreams," Ms. Heidler said.

Ms. Heidler was honored at the University Teaching Council’s Celebrating College Teaching conference luncheon and awards ceremony on Oct. 19.
For more information on the Outstanding Teaching Award, visit


POSTED: Monday, February 11, 2019 - 7:57am
UPDATED: Monday, February 11, 2019 - 11:13am
Devon Recktenwald