Outstanding professors to be awarded for their hard work

Amanda Garrett

Six Kent State professors will have $1,500 dollars and a trophy when the Alumni Association’s teaching awards are handed out later this month.

The association’s awards are split into two divisions to honor both tenure and non-tenure faculty.

The Distinguished Teaching Awards honor tenured faculty who have worked at Kent State for at least seven years. There are 10 finalists for the award.

Thomas Schmidlin, a finalist and geography professor, said he was delighted when he learned the news.

“It’s really nice to be nominated for this award,” he said. “I know other people who got the award, but I was surprised when they called me to tell me I was a finalist. It’s pretty cool.”

The winners will be announced at the Celebrating Teaching Conference Luncheon on Oct. 21.

The winners for the Outstanding Teaching Awards, which covers non-tenured faculty, have already been announced, said Sandra Eaglen, who coordinates the awards.

The three winners are Thomas Rutledge, a speech pathology and audiology professor; Sheri Leafgren, a teaching, leadership and curriculum professor and Art Professor Juliann Dorff.

Dorff found out she was a winner when the awards committee came to her classroom.

“It was extremely humbling and gratifying to win the award,” she said. “They came into my class with cakes and balloons and flowers to tell me I won the award. It was a little hard to concentrate on teaching after that.”

A committee made up of former winners, alumni and current students chose this year’s award recipients.

The committee picks the winners based on a portfolio submitted by the finalists. The portfolio includes a curriculum vitae, comments from students and faculty and copies of syllabi and tests from the professors’ classes, Eaglen said.

The committee is looking for professors who “stand out,” she said.

“We’re looking for professors who go beyond great,” she said. “We’re looking for something extraordinary.”

Contact academic affairs reporter Amanda Garrett at [email protected].