Deadline approaching for nominations for Distinguished Teaching Award

Mady Etzel

The deadline to nominate your favorite faculty member for the Distinguished Teaching Award is June 30.

Sponsored by the Kent State Alumni Association, the DTA is the university’s most prestigious teaching honor. The award is presented annually to three full-time faculty members who demonstrate extraordinary performance in the classroom. Eligibility requirements can be found here.

Nancy Schiappa, associate director of Alumni Relations, said most nominations are submitted by current students.

“Alumni can nominate, but we just pulled some statistics last year and over 80 percent of the nominations came directly from students – and it’s specifically undergrads,” Schiappa said.

The three teachers that are selected as winners of the award find out during a surprise classroom visit in the fall. The visit delivers a prize wagon, which includes balloons for the teacher and snacks for the students.

“The big public announcement is at the annual university teaching conference, and that’s always the last Thursday and Friday of October,” Schiappa said. “Our alumni board president presents the awards and recognizes the 10 finalists. There are probably 400 to 500 people that attend that every year, maybe even more.”

The DTA is a lifetime achievement award, which means a teacher can only win the award once. Teachers can be nominated for consecutive years, said Lori Randorf, executive director of the Alumni Association.

“That’s the kind of person we’re looking for – that it wasn’t just one great year for them, but every year students are saying he or she is a great faculty member,” Randorf said.

Last year’s recipients of the DTA were George Garrison of Pan African Studies, Gary Hanson of Journalism and Mass Communications and Susan Taft of Nursing. All three teach at the Kent Campus.

Students can nominate their favorite professors by completing this online form.

Contact Mady Etzel at [email protected].