Fashion Professor Receives Distinguished Teaching Award

Associate fashion professor Catherine Leslie received a Distinguished Teacher Award from the university.

Associate fashion professor Catherine Leslie received a Distinguished Teacher Award from the university.

Nicholas Sewell

Commitment to student success and hard work characterize Catherine Leslie’s teaching style.

Students and faculty have taken notice, which is why Leslie, an associate professor in the School of Fashion Design and Merchandising at Kent State, was recently honored with the 2013 Distinguished Teaching Award.

The Distinguished Teaching Award is an award that honors three full-time faculty members who demonstrate outstanding skills in teaching every year.

Leslie has taught in the fashion department at Kent State since Fall semester of 2002.  This semester, she is teaching in the Fashion Fundamentals, and Historic Textiles courses.

Leslie said she was very honored to receive this award.

“I feel validated because I have put a lot of work into teaching, and I think that teaching is a very important part of the university mission,” Leslie said.  “I am very happy to have my efforts recognized.”

Calvin Carstensen, a senior guest student who has been taking courses at Kent State since 2000, has taken two classes with Leslie.  He said he decided to take Leslie’s course when he discovered that she was nominated for this award.

“I have become a first-hand witness of how her proven style as an educator connects and interlocks each of the students between wherever they are in their studies to where they will wind up gainfully established in the positions of their choices in the fashion industry,” Carstensen said .

Leslie has also received other prestigious awards during her time at Kent State, including the Student Choice Award from the Fashion School, and the Outstanding Faculty Award from Student Disability Services.

Darian Hanna, a sophomore fashion design major, is a former student of Leslie’s.  She said Leslie is always willing to go above and beyond the call of duty for her students.

“She is always willing to help students on any projects or ideas they may have even if they do not relate to her (Fashion Fundamentals) course,” said Hanna.  “Her biggest goal is for all of her students to be a success and you can see that shine through her.”

Leslie has also been selected to be the graduate coordinator of the Master of Fashion program.  The program will begin accepting students in Fall 2014.

Phuong Le, a senior fashion merchandising major, also showed her appreciation of Leslie.

“She tries her best to understand her students and is willing to help her students not only in class, but also out of class in terms of fashion career advice,” said Le.  “Dr. Leslie absolutely deserves all awards that recognize and acknowledge all of her dedication to the Kent State Fashion School.”

For more information on Professor Leslie and her accomplishments, visit

Contact at Nicholas Sewell at [email protected].