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Faculty receive Presidential Teacher Awards


Ten faculty members were honored Tuesday afternoon as recipients of the Presidential Teacher Award, which recognizes full-time tenured faculty who consistently inspire students and colleagues through academic excellence inside and outside the classroom.

“This is one of my favorite events of the year because in so many important ways, this is what’s at the heart of what the University is really about,” said Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis. “We have many repeat recipients of this award. I think that speaks to the consistency of excellence that many faculty exhibit over a period of years. It’s a challenge to win once, but when you think we have some double awardees, that’s truly a significant accomplishment.”

The competitive process is based on candidates’ teaching portfolios, teaching observations and an extensive interview process. Faculty who are selected as awardees hold the title of Presidential Teacher for three years and receive a $3,000 award over the course of three years.

Presenting the awards was Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit, who said she is proud of the dedication of OHIO’s faculty for its primary mission — to teach and to teach well. “With these nominations, your colleagues, President McDavis, and I thank you for your hard work and a commitment to imparting knowledge, motivating critical thinking, empowering problem solving, and inspiring creativity in our students.”

Those receiving this year’s Presidential Teacher Awards include the following:

Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis and Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit congratulate Barbara Hahaffey during the Presidential Teacher Awards in the Multicultural Center on Tuesday.

Photos by Lauren Pond/Ohio University

Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis and Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit (right) congratulate Barbara Mahaffey during the Presidential Teacher Awards in the Multicultural Center on Tuesday. Mahaffey, an associate professor in human services technology at the Chillicothe Campus and finalist for the 2012-2013 selection cycle, is noted for her high regard for students as individual learners and addresses this through a teaching philosophy that acknowledges different learning styles, motivation, experiences, and students’ varying ages and past experiences.

Pictured is Vic Matta, an associate professor in the department of management information systems in the College of Business and a finalist for the 2012-13 selection cycle.

Pictured with McDavis and Benoit is Vic Matta, an associate professor in the department of management information systems in the College of Business and a finalist for the 2012-13 selection cycle. Matta is recognized for his use of student engagement techniques that are flexible and dynamic and has genuine concern for his students in management information systems. Though teaching complex subjects, Matta has developed teaching methods that inspire learning.

Pictured is Brian Hoyt, a professor of management at the Chillicothe campus and Presidential Teacher for academic years 2014-16.

Brian Hoyt, a professor of management at the Lancaster Campus and Presidential Teacher for academic years 2014-16, is recognized for his ability to facilitate intensive interaction and dialogue in the classroom. His project-based pedagogy, through which he connects management course content to agencies and organizations, is highly praised.

Pictured is Katarzyna Marciniak, a professor in the department of English in the College of Arts and Science and Presidential Teacher for academic years 2014-16.

Katarzyna Marciniak, a professor in the department of English in the College of Arts and Sciences and Presidential Teacher for academic years 2014-16, is recognized as a rigorous and effective teacher who uses significant and timely innovations in the English curriculum for critical exploration into difficult issues related to gender, race, class, religion, and immigration.

Pictured is Julia Paxton, an associate professor in the department of economics in the College of Arts and Sciences and Presidential Teacher for academic years 2014-16.

Julia Paxton, an associate professor in the department of economics in the College of Arts and Sciences and Presidential Teacher for academic years 2014-16, is recognized for her creative approach to teaching economics, which enables her to present difficult material in a compelling fashion. She uses technology, imaginative examples, and current issues in ways that provoke students’ thinking and learning at all levels.

Jenny Chabot, an associate professor in the department of social and public health in the College of Health Sciences and Professions and Presidential Teacher for academic years 2015-17.

Jenny Chabot, an associate professor in the department of social and public health in the College of Health Sciences and Professions and Presidential Teacher for academic years 2015-17. Chabot is a two-time winner of the Presidential Teacher Award from the department of child and family studies. She is recognized for her enthusiasm in the classroom, her encouragement of independent thinking, and the emphasis that she places on challenging and exploring ideas.

Sarah Wyatt, a professor in the department of environmental and plant biology in the College of Arts and Sciences and Presidential Teacher for academic years 2015-17.

Sarah Wyatt, a professor in the department of environmental and plant biology in the College of Arts and Sciences and Presidential Teacher for academic years 2015-17, is a two-time winner from biomedical engineering. She is seen as an innovator, mentor, and a strong advocate for undergraduate research. Especially appreciated is her ability to present difficult material in a compelling manner, using written and oral expression as central components of her classroom teaching.

Unable to attend the ceremony were Haley Duschinski, an associate professor in the department of sociology and anthropology and Presidential Teacher for academic years 2015-17, as well as associate professor Risa Whitson in the department of geography and associate professor Eric Williams in the school of media arts and studies, both finalists for the 2013-14 selection cycle.

Following the presentation of awards, McDavis gave a final thank you to the faculty. “Your contributions to our curriculum, to mentoring, and scholarship are the heart and soul of what we do in terms of delivering transformative learning experiences each and every day,” he said. “So I know I speak on behalf of all the deans at the University, all the other administrators, as well as our students when I say thank you for all that you do.”