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Tresa Randall is congratulated by President Roderick J. McDavis.

Photographer: Kaitlin Owens

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Bob Klein accepts his award from President Roderick J. McDavis.

Photographer: Kaitlin Owens

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Professors recognized with Presidential Teacher Award


Each year, a handful of professors at Ohio University are selected to receive the Presidential Teacher Award. On Monday, Aug. 31, two professors were recognized as recipients: Bob Klein and Tresa Randall. 

The Presidential Teacher Award Recognition Ceremony opened with Howard Dewald, associate provost for faculty and academic planning, who welcomed the awardees and their family and friends as well as previous recipients of the award. He then took the time to thank the selection committee, which chooses the recipients of the award each year. This committee includes both faculty and, undergraduate and graduate students. 

President McDavis then took the stand and explained the purpose of the award.

“The Presidential Teacher Award recognizes full-time tenured faculty who consistently inspire students and colleagues through academic excellence inside and outside the classroom,” McDavis said.

He also explained that when given the award, the faculty member holds the award for three years and receives $1,000 a year for each of those three years.

He continued by saying, “Provost Benoit and I are honored to be able to present these Presidential Teaching Award plaques and finalist certificates. They represent the gratitude that Ohio University has for the accomplishments and dedication of teacher scholars.”

Provost Benoit first presented the two individuals who were named as finalists with certificates of recognition.

Gary Coombs, a professor and chair of the Department of Management and Strategic Leadership in the College of Business, was the first finalist to be recognized. 

“The committee remarked upon his important contributions to his discipline, his very evident appreciation of his students, his obvious enjoyment engaging him, his classroom exercises that actively involves students in the learning process and develops their intellectual curiosity, his innovative course development and his mentoring of new faculty,” said Benoit.

Next was Lauren McMills, an assistant professor and assistant chair in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences. 

“Noted by the committee were her important contributions to her discipline, curriculum, and innovations as well as her passion and her enthusiasm toward teaching,” Benoit said.

Following the finalists, the award winners were recognized. First was Bob Klein, an undergraduate chair and associate professor in the Department of Mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences. 

“He was selected as a Presidential Teacher based on his passion for teaching and learning, his strong teaching innovations, his unique and important contributions to the Mathematics Department, and his ability to energize and motivate students in the learning of math,” Benoit said. 

Finally, Tresa Randall, an associate professor of dance in the School of Dance, Film and Theater in the College of Fine Arts, was recognized as the second award winner. 

“The committee recognized her as a strong example of a performer and scholar and a true intellectual with wonderfully high standards who engages her students to think critically about dance in history and to inspire enthusiastic student engagement,” noted Benoit. 

Each professor received a plaque along with a handshake and word of congratulations from President McDavis.