Professor of the Year Award
Teaching excellence is the hallmark of a great University, and Ohio University Lancaster is home to truly outstanding professors. Our faculty devote countless hours to creating learning experiences that not only engage students, but they also “go the extra mile” to mentor students as they strive to identify and achieve their goals.
Each year, the Beta Beta Theta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa honorary at Ohio University Lancaster solicits nominations from students to recognize those professors who have gone “above and beyond” in their teaching. Phi Theta Kappa members and representatives from OHIO Lancaster's student organizations review nomination packets and cast a vote for the professor they feel has gone “above and beyond” in their teaching over the past year. The identity of our award recipient is a closely guarded secret until it is revealed at the annual Graduation Recognition Ceremony.
The Professor of the Year is devoted to ensuring student success. They are innovative in designing assignments that truly engage students in the learning process, encouraging students to give back to their community, and push students to consider multiple perspectives while engaging in critical thinking.
Pamela A. Kaylor, Ph.D.
Professor of Instruction - Communication Studies
“Dr. Kaylor has been described by students as one who is innovative in designing assignments that truly engage students in the learning process. She is known for encouraging students to give back to their community, who leads by example in her service to our campus and to our community, and one who encourages students to consider multiple perspectives and engage in critical thinking.
The hallmarks of this professor’s commitment to engaging students include the following:
- She teaches not only about the theories and concepts in her subject area, but also encourages students to engage in learning and to make connections by providing opportunities to engage in projects that encourage real-world application.
- She is committed to bringing “learning to life” by incorporating innovative pedagogical approaches and projects in almost every class they teach. They utilize a variety of technology platforms to meet student needs and help students feel connected to their classmates and their campus.
- Dr. Kaylor challenges students and encourages them to consider ways that they can make a difference in their communities. Over this past year, she worked tirelessly to create an interdisciplinary program to bring students of diverse majors together to share their ideas to raise awareness for social issues. This program included a variety of experiential teaching strategies that include a common reading project, an on-campus visit by the book’s author, a field trip, and an art supply drive.
- She not only excels in the classroom, but they are also dedicated to extending the boundaries of learning beyond our campus. She has written several grants to offer more than a dozen continuing education workshops and educational opportunities for community members at OHIO Lancaster.
- Perhaps most noteworthy is that you can almost always find Dr. Kaylor giving back to our students, our campus, and our community. She coordinates our WITS program for to expose junior high students to career opportunities in STEM fields. She chairs our annual Celebrate Women conference that brings internationally-renowned speakers to campus and provides professional development for other women. She coordinates our Take Back the Night event each year to educate and promote awareness for important social issues. She recently had a proposal accepted for a 10-day study abroad opportunity in Thailand for OHIO students. And, when she’s not busy with those efforts, she serves as faculty advisor for two (2) student organizations at OHIO Lancaster.
The following is a testimony shared by 2023 graduate, Dina Reasoner, who wrote about the impact Dr. Kaylor’s teaching has had during her time at OHIO Lancaster:
“Dr. Kaylor’s classes changed my life. She is incredibly talented and intelligent and yet humble. She teaches her courses in a way that promotes critical thinking, diversity, and inclusion. She truly wants her students to learn and succeed. I am a better student and person because of her”."
Kevin D. Cordi, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor - Teacher Education
“Dr. Cordi has been described by students as one who is truly passionate and enthusiastic about student learning. He is known for encouraging students to ignite their creativity and as a result, his students have had their work selected for presentation at national conferences. Not only has this professor encouraged students to share their class projects with others, but he has delivered more than 25 presentations based on their own research and teaching at local, regional, national and international conferences.
Some of just a few of the hallmarks of this professor’s commitment to his students include the following:
- He is committed to focusing on issues related to diversity and equity. Through collaboration with colleagues, this professor has worked over the past year to re-design the classroom and created opportunities for students to create and produce creative projects such as podcasts and to engage in conversations with book authors.
- Dr. Cordi recognizes the importance of flexibility and being willing to make changes to the course structure and curriculum to promote student learning and success. In fact, this professor actually enrolled as a student in an online class last summer to “place themselves in the shoes” of students as online learners. The result was the creation of new classroom “spaces” this year where students were more engaged.
- Recently, he was awarded a grant focusing on Experiential Learning Stewardship to help create educational programming for OHIO Lancaster students focused on social justice issues.
One of our recipient’s students described his teaching as follows:
“Dr. Cordi is an exceptional teacher who ensures we will succeed as future teachers. The way discussions are led in the class help students feel welcome and comfortable sharing in class. Dr. Cordi also ensures all students have a chance to talk. When I first started the class, I did not know what to expect, but Dr. Cordi's smiling face and energy when teaching, even in an online environment, keeps me engaged.”
In his materials submitted to Phi Theta Kappa for review, Dr. Cordi stated:
"As an educator, I am always looking for new ways to add deeper meaning or jazzing the learning for my students. I know this works to build resonance with them. After all, one beat leads to another and they will find their own way to jazz future students to learn”."
Major Lisa Taylor, MBA
Associate Professor of Instruction - Law Enforcement Technology
Lisa Taylor has been described by students as someone who always has a smile on her face and one who is truly passionate and enthusiastic about student learning. She is known for providing students with a plethora of resources to ensure their academic success, preparing supplemental resources to assist them with academic advising and exposing students to a variety of career opportunities through guest presentations. Some of just a few of the hallmarks of this professor’s commitment to her students include the following:
- She is committed to bringing “learning to life” by providing students with countless real-world learning opportunities that allow them to interact with professionals in their chosen career field.
- Professor Taylor recognizes the importance of providing students with the resources to succeed. She goes the “extra mile” to help students, including: 1) reaching out via personal emails to students who are experiencing academic issues to check on their progress; 2) providing information about supplemental tutoring resources and encouraging students to adopt a team-based approach to their academic studies; 3) instilling a value for service learning in each class through projects such as the Adopt-a-Highway program, a Food Pantry program that encourages students to give back to their community each semester, and a Beautify the Bridge program each spring.
- She is incredibly devoted to sharing information about her field of study with the larger community outside of OHIO Lancaster. Students are actively recruited through her visits to local high schools and they are inspired by her speeches at new student orientation sessions. In addition, her coordination of the Annual Kids and Cops Day attracts more than 1,500 visitors to campus to help children become more comfortable interacting with first responders in positive ways.
- Major Taylor is an incredibly devoted professor, but she is also dedicated to spreading the “good news” of her students’ accomplishments each semester with her colleagues through the publication of a newsletter.
One of her students described her teaching as follows:
“Professor Lisa Taylor is the hardest working and most dedicated person I have ever met. She inspires us all to be the best versions of ourselves by being passionate about what we do. As a successful Ohio State Trooper, Lisa is able to teach us things that books simply cannot.”
Another student commented:
“Her relationships with professionals in the field provide her students with so many resources that often results in incredible internship opportunities and many students secure job offers even before graduation.”
Another student described her impact on students this way:
“Lisa makes an effort to reach every student individually. This isn’t just a job to her…it’s her legacy”."
Jacqueline Hill Tudor, Ph.D.
Associate Professor - Biological Sciences
"Dr. Tudor has demonstrated a true devotion to ensuring student success. She has been described by students as one who devotes countless hours to creating engaging activities to make learning fun. And, she is known for providing students with a plethora of resources to ensure their academic success, and one who holds extremely high expectations and pushes students to realize their full potential.
Some of just a few of the hallmarks of this professor’s commitment to her students include the following:
- She is committed to bringing “learning to life” by designing countless hands-on learning opportunities and activities that engage students in almost every class each semester.
- She is devoted to sharing information about her field of study with the larger community outside of OHIO Lancaster. Dr. Tudor works with local elementary schools and assists in the fundraising and planning for conferences and activities to spark enthusiasm for her field of study.
- She has develop a variety of support resources including: 1) The assignment of a student success coach and peer tutors in classes; 2) Coordinating and hosting 4-8 hours of additional instructional assistance to students on a weekly basis; 3) Hosting a weekly “study hour” for students to drop in and ask questions; 4) Offering virtual study tools and resources to provide supplemental instruction online that students can access at their convenience; 5) Creating academic success plans for those students who are “at-risk” to assist them in identifying obstacles to learning; and 6) Creating a learning community for students pursuing the instructor’s major field of study.
- Dr. Tudor goes beyond the traditional “lecture format” in the classroom and has been described by students as being incredibly innovative in the classroom. Examples of her efforts include: 1) The introduction of human cadavers to the Ohio Lancaster campus for science classes (and it is important to note that this is unique for undergraduates to have this exposure to human cadavers!); 2) Observing the effects of chemicals such as nicotine, caffeine, and others on frog heart functions; 3) Guided dissection of pig hearts (which is an activity she also shares with girls at our Women in Technology and Science event); 4) Conducting experiments to learn about the “cleanliness” of store-bought foods and bacterial levels in various water sources; 5) Observing the effect of insulin shock on goldfish; 6) Hosting “academic journal” talks to help students understand the latest research that is being published in scholarly journals; and the list goes on an on."
Pamela A. Kaylor, Ph.D.
Professor of Instruction - Communication Studies
“Dr. Kaylor has been described by students as one who is tireless in teaching, advising, and mentoring efforts. She is known for encouraging students to give back to their community, who leads by example in her service to our campus and to our community, and also one who holds extremely high expectations and pushes students to realize their full potential. Some of just a few of the hallmarks of this professor’s commitment to engaging students include the following:
- She teaches not only about the theories and concepts in her subject area, but also educates and encourages students to engage in learning and to make connections across disciplines by providing opportunities to engage in projects that encourage real-world application.
- She is committed to bringing “learning to life” by incorporating service learning projects in almost every class each semester. Some of the projects she has created to encourage students to “give back” to their communities include fundraisers for local charities and activist projects to raise awareness for social issues.
- Dr. Kaylor not only excels in the classroom, but she is dedicated to mentoring faculty colleagues in their own teaching efforts. She has devoted countless hours to assisting her colleagues in enhancing and expanding their own teaching.
- She goes beyond the traditional “lecture format” in the classroom and has been described by students as being incredibly innovative in incorporating technology and creative activities to engage students in the classroom. Examples of her efforts include using games, simulations, scavenger hunts, group challenges, team examinations, mock trials, debate watches, activist projects, and the list goes on and on!
- Most recently, our recipient has demonstrated a commitment to providing OHIO Lancaster students with the opportunity to study with scholars and to collaborate with students from Mexico as part of the COIL program that focuses on Collaborative Online International Learning. Next year, her efforts will expand to provide our students with the chance to learn and study with faculty and students from Cuba.
- Perhaps most noteworthy is that you can almost always find Dr. Kaylor giving back to our students, our campus, and our community. She coordinates our WITS program for junior high school girls to expose them to career opportunities in STEM fields. She chairs our annual Celebrate Women conference that brings internationally-renowned speakers to campus and provides professional development for other women. She coordinates our Take Back the Night and Veterans Recognition events each year to educate and promote awareness for important social issues. And, when she’s not busy with those efforts, she serves as faculty advisor for three (3) student organizations at OHIO Lancaster.
The following is an excerpt from one student’s nomination letter:
“Dr. Pamela Kaylor is always encouraging students to expand their horizons and to reach for the stars! She has been the most amazing mentor and friend to me and countless others here at Ohio University Lancaster”."
Cathleen Battiste Presutti, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Instruction - Mathematics
"Dr. Presutti has devoted more than a decade at OHIO Lancaster teaching nearly a dozen different classes that span a variety of levels in her discipline. She was described by one student as demonstrating “creativity and commitment to excellence against all unnecessary odds”.
Dr. Presutti is dedicated to incorporating innovative technologies to assist students in the learning process. From hosting supplemental discussions on Blackboard to help students work through difficult problems to using apps that allow her to comment on photos that students send via their mobile devices when they are stuck on a problem, she is dedicated to making sure that students are able to get the help they need.
In 2013, she was a member of an OHIO Lancaster faculty team that received an 1804 Grant to provide students with online tutoring resources. And her teaching style is summarized by one of her students who had this to say in their letter of nomination - “She is determined to give her class every opportunity to succeed and encourages her students to focus more on learning the concepts and be less focused on only a letter grade. She created activities that had a mix of academic challenge and fun. For one activity, she even assigned a scavenger hunt of shapes around campus.”
Dr. Presutti has been helping students build confidence and enthusiasm for the subject of mathematics at OHIO Lancaster since 2003."
A. Victor Jones, MFA
Assistant Professor of Instruction -
Producing Artistic Director of Theatre
"Victor Jones has been described by students as one who encourages students, who praises them, and also one who holds extremely high expectations and pushes students to realize their full potential. Some of just a few of the hallmarks of this professor’s commitment to engaging students include the following:
- He teaches not only about his subject area, but also educates and encourages students to engage in learning about leadership and to appreciate the value of team collaboration in working toward one’s goals.
- He works with the OHIO Lancaster library every semester to make supplemental reading materials available to enhance the student learning experience in his classes.
- He writes students individual notes throughout the semester to provide feedback on their class performance and offers suggestions for enhancing their progress.
- He breaks down disciplinary boundaries through his collaboration with other OHIO Lancaster faculty to provide opportunities for expanding and encouraging service learning experiences with students from diverse majors.
- He works with multiple departments and organizations in our local community and across Ohio University to promote his students’ work. From fundraising to enhancing our facilities, to high school recruitment, to promoting our campus with OHIO Alumni, to entertaining our seniors at Olivedale Center, this professor never stops!
- He encourages students to dream big, and encourages them on their journeys to realize their potential – even going so far as to drive a van full of students through rain, sleet, and snow to major cities such as Philadelphia or Cleveland to showcase their talents.
- Perhaps most noteworthy is that you can almost always find him on our campus, often 7-days a week! His extraordinary commitment to his students and to our campus is exemplary.
The following is an excerpt from one student’s nomination letter:
“Since my first semester at Ohio University, Professor Jones has pushed me to be the best I could be and really pulled me out of my shell. I remember walking into the theatre terrified of what I would have to do to just complete my Fine Arts requirement for graduation. Little did I know I would find the passion of the OHIO Lancaster Theatre Department. Professor Jones has inspired me to start my own theatre productions at my local church, and without his support I would not be the person I am today”."
Mark D. Nevins, Ph.D.
Associate Professor - History
"Dr. Nevins has been described by students as one who demonstrates respect for students, who praises them, and who also encourages them to set goals for their academic performance. Some of just a few of the hallmarks of this professor’s commitment to engaging students include the following:
- Going beyond lecturing, and creating team-based learning exercises for his class.
- Incorporating digital recordings and photos into class lectures to enable students to not only hear about events but also see and experience them virtually.
- Encouraging students to attend guest lectures hosted on campus – and weaving information from those lectures into classes to expand the learning process outside the classroom walls.
- Collaborating with his department on the Athens Campus to create the first internship in his discipline to be offered at a regional campus.
- Encouraging and working with several undergraduate students to present their work at undergraduate disciplinary conferences on the Athens campus.
- Conducting research on Lancaster and encouraging students to explore our community through class projects and assignments.
The following is an excerpt from OUL student, Dennis Shay’s, nomination letter: “Before I met this professor, my GPA was struggling because I was only in school to be in school. This professor, through his teaching and mentoring in and out of the classroom, gave me hope with a potential career choice. Now, history is the love of my life! Dr. Mark Nevin is a great advisor, a great teacher, and a great man. His accomplishments in and out of the classroom prove that he is a worthy candidate for this award.”
Brian Hoyt, Ph.D.
Professor of Management
Director - Bachelor of Science in Business (BSB)
Sandra Doty, Ph.D.
Associate Professor - Physics
Linda M. Trautman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor - Political Science
Professor - Accounting Technology
Associate Professor of Instruction - Communication Studies
Joseph E. Faber, Ph.D.
Associate Professor - Biology
Patrick Munhall, Ph.D.
Associate Professor - Arts and Sciences
Patrick Drumm, Ph.D.
Associate Professor - Psychology
Martha A. Kline, Ph.D.
Associate Professor - Chemistry
James D. Summerford, Ph.D.
Associate Professor - Philosophy
Jane Johnson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor - English
Scott Minar, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus - English
Candice Thomas-Maddox, Ph.D.
Professor - Communication Studies