By Jennifer Krisch
For more than 200 years, students have come to Ohio University to further their education in preparation for successful careers and dynamic lives. Those outcomes wouldn't be possible without dedicated teachers who educate, advise, challenge and inspire.
Each year since 2001, just a few teachers earn the title of Ohio University Presidential Teacher, an honor that recognizes excellence in and out of the classroom. This year's recipients are Athens campus faculty members Debra Henderson, an associate professor of sociology, and Scott Titsworth, an associate professor of communication studies, and Pramod Kanwar, an associate professor of mathematics at Ohio University-Zanesville.
The office of Associate Provost for Academic Affairs Martin Tuck solicits nominations of Group 1 tenured faculty from faculty, students and alumni at the beginning of the school year. Each nominee is required to present a teaching portfolio to the award selection committee, which is made up of four faculty members, one undergraduate student and one graduate student. The selection process is rigorous, requiring the nominee to provide an extensive teaching portfolio.
"It must cover things such as teaching philosophy, curriculum development, teaching innovation, mentoring of students and faculty, student evaluations and many other aspects," Tuck said.
This year, the committee reviewed 30 faculty portfolios and narrowed the field to a handful of finalists. Committee members interviewed these faculty members and their department chairs or directors, visited the nominees' classrooms several times and interviewed students about their performance and interaction as teachers.
The committee can select up to five faculty members to receive the award. Each recipient receives a $15,000 stipend, given over three years, and holds the title "Presidential Teacher" for the same time period.
Tuck said he enjoys the surprise announcements in the winners' classes, a tradition that started with his predecessor.
"This way the students are involved in the process," he said. "Then the official announcement is made at commencement by the president."
For a closer look at this year's Presidential Teachers follow these links: