Nutrition professor honored with Professor of the Game award

Lexi Marco

Carmen Blakely, a nutrition professor at Kent State, received the Professor of the Game award at the Kent State football game on Thursday, Nov. 15 for her compassion and dedication in the classroom.

Blakely received an email in August announcing her selection as Professor of the Game, an honor given to select professors recognized by student athletes. 

Blakely’s understanding is advisers go into a team meeting with the coaches and football team, and ask which professors have made an impact on the players’ lives here at Kent State. Overall, seven professors were selected, one for each home game this year, to be honored during a football game.

“I didn’t know anything about Professor of the Game, but when I got the award notification, I was so surprised,” Blakely said. “It almost brought tears to my eyes. It makes you feel good to know that you made an impact in somebody’s life. I love teaching.”

Blakely began teaching at Kent State’s regional campuses in 2007 and came to Kent in August 2008 to teach full time. She teaches nutrition courses such as science of human nutrition, human nutrition and dietary food modification-nutrition for older adults.

Katelin Melling, a junior nursing major, studied nutrition in Blakely’s science of human nutrition class.

“One moment that stood out to me was when Professor Blakely let me use her calculator at her desk because I forgot my calculator on the day of an exam,” Melling said. “I thought this was really kind of her because she didn’t have to do this, and a lot of other professors might not have been this kind.”

                                                                                                                            Blakely not only puts her best efforts into teaching, but she allows her personality to shine through. Senior fashion merchandising major Samantha Pesick noticed Blakely’s intent to see students do well while incorporating pieces of her personality into her teaching routine.

“It is so evident that Professor Blakely is passionate about her work and her students,”  Pesick said. “Her bubbly personality always made class interesting. She was always so kind and caring. It was truly an honor to learn from her.”

Blakely impacted multiple lives in her 55 years of life, enough for her friends and family to come from Michigan and different parts of Ohio to support her during the football game. Blakely’s three children were also included in the night’s activities as they accompanied her on the field.

“People always want to tell you that you’re doing something wrong, but they never tell you when you’re doing something right,” Blakely said. “Just to have someone say that I’ve made an impact on their life is amazing, because that is what teaching is all about.”

During Thursday’s game, Blakely was involved in pregame activities and was introduced during the first quarter of the game. Blakely felt an immense honor to be selected and recognized by past and present students.

 “It felt great to be at the stadium in front of everyone,” Blakely said. “On the way off the field, one of the cheerleaders, said ‘Hello Professor Blakely’ and I thought to myself, ‘Wow, I love teaching.’ All in all, it was a great experience and I was honored to have been chosen.”

Lexi Marco is the health reporter. Contact her at [email protected].