2013 Outstanding Teaching Award NomineesPosted Oct. 7, 2013 | Emily Komorowski
Every year, the University Teaching Council recognizes Kent State’s outstanding full-time, nontenure-track and part-time faculty members by awarding three educators with the Outstanding Teaching Awards. This award is presented annually to faculty members who consistently showcase astounding skills in classroom teaching.
The University Teaching Council is proud to present this year’s nominees.
Elizabeth Carr, School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, Kent Campus
Elizabeth Carr challenges her students because she wants each of them to be the best designer they can possibly be. “With each project, she will sit down with each student to talk about what directions students can go and to help them to think outside of the box. She challenges students by asking them first how they would solve their question before simply telling them how to do something,” writes a student nominator.
Robin Joynes, Department of Psychology, Kent Campus
Robin Joynes’ level of enthusiasm helps students to learn. A student writes in a nomination letter, “Not many professors are both knowledgeable about their subject matter and also able to make learning fun. She has a wonderful sense of humor, tells many funny stories and is able to make the class laugh while still maintaining a serious learning environment.”
Joynes wants to see her students succeed. “Recently, I was asked by my department chair to co-teach our College Teaching course — where we instruct our first-time graduate instructors in the art of teaching an effective course in the department. I felt honored to take on this responsibility. Since teaching this new course, I have found it extremely rewarding to watch young instructors find their voice in the classroom,” says Joynes.
Joseph Karpinski, Department of Construction Management, Kent Campus
Joseph Karpinski created the Construction Management program at Kent State and provides students with opportunities to get involved. In the nomination letter, a student writes, “Mr. Karpinski takes so much time out of his personal life to volunteer with his students. Without a doubt, he will continue to change the lives of his students and help them to get a great education.”
Uma Krishnan, Department of English, Kent Campus
Uma Krishnan’s passion for writing motivates her students to take an interest in the subject matter. “Mrs. Krishnan has motivated me to learn about the subject and improve my writing more than any other teacher I’ve ever had. She makes me want to work harder so that I can match her passion for the subject while also learning valuable skills for life at the same time,” writes a student nominator.
Krishnan’s students motivate her as well. “My students inspire me every day to perform better, to be passionate about my causes, and to motivate them to aim and reach high. My proudest moments are also when I receive emails, texts or notecards from my students, informing me that they have won awards elsewhere and attribute that to my teaching. It is a lasting reminder that I have touched their lives in some ways, and I am grateful for their recognition,” says Krishnan.
Albert Reischuck, Department of Art, Kent Campus
Albert Reischuck uses comparisons and examples from current culture to engage his students. A quote from one student reads, “He definitely loved the content, and it showed in his approach. He has a great sense of humor and wove it in enough to keep 18-year-olds engaged in cave drawings and bulbous statues that live in some museum in Europe.”
In spite of all the new technology in the classroom, Reischuck still believes in one-on-one communication. “The face-to-face moments with students remain the most important part of the learning experience; I have to bring my passion for the material to each lecture or in any one-on-one discussion with a student in order to inspire them,” says Reischuck.
Randy Ruchotzke, Department of Mathematical Science, Kent Campus
Randy Ruchotzke is dedicated to helping his students. A student nominator comments, “After I received my first test grade (32 percent) in his class, he realized I was struggling quite a bit. After meeting with him the first time, he realized that I was a little behind on my skills since I haven’t had math since my freshman year. He then offered to meet with me twice a week so we could continue to improve my skills. By the time the second test came around I earned a 90 percent.”
Ruchotzke is motivated to see his students succeed, making sure that each lecture has value beyond what they learn from their textbook. “Creating a dynamic and engaging classroom was key, as was developing an effective syllabus, homework software, and new supplementary worksheets. All of these worked very well. My rapport with the students was great, and my office hours filled rapidly,” Ruchotzke says.