Alumni Association names recipients of Distinguished Teaching Award

Mallory Cox

Three recipients for the 2016 Distinguished Teaching Award will be recognized at the University Teaching Council Conference luncheon Oct. 21.

This year’s recipients include Donald Gerbig Jr. and Collen Novak, associate professors of biological sciences, and Jan Leach, associate professor of journalism and mass communication.

The award is given to three full-time faculty members who have taught at a Kent State campus for a minimum of seven years.

The three recipients were selected from 10 finalists, and were surprised with a visit from the University Teaching Council in their classrooms last week.

“It’s a huge honor because the nomination is from students, and the award recognizes what goes on in the classroom and what goes into that work every day,” Leach said. “Those moments — when discussion is robust — light bulbs go off for students and stories come together are so exhilarating. This award is the most exciting acknowledgement of all that goes into instruction.”

The Distinguished Teaching Award, sponsored by the Kent State Alumni Association, is the university’s most prestigious honor in teaching.

“Guiding students to success is a reward by itself,” Gerbig said. “Receiving the DTA this year is an honor and high point in my career at Kent State University.”

Students have the opportunity to nominate professors who have made an impact on their lives and prove to be outstanding teachers.

“The award means a lot to me,” Novak said. “I put work and energy into getting ready to teach, and I enjoy my classes. It is nice to know that it means something to the students, and that it makes a difference in their education.”

Mallory Cox is the alumni reporter, contact her [email protected].