2023 Provost's Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Lecturer announced
Six faculty members at The Ohio State University were recently honored with the 2023 Provost's Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Lecturer. The award annually recognizes a maximum of six lecturers or other associated faculty for their teaching excellence. Honorees are inducted into Ohio State's Academy of Teaching and recognized with an honorarium made possible by the Office of Academic Affairs. The honorees were notified of their awards through surprise announcements led by senior university leaders.
“I am so proud of each of this year’s recipients of the 2023 Provost's Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Lecturer,” said Melissa Gilliam, executive vice president and provost of The Ohio State University. “Their commitment to their students’ success is inspiring, and their example in the classroom showcases Ohio State’s exceptional faculty.”
Steven Bengal, associated faculty/lecturer, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
In the classroom, Steven Bengal is connected, knowledgeable and energetic; he incorporates evidence-based active-learning components into his courses and is constantly evolving his approach to be more student-centered, noted a nominator. Dedicated to the craft of teaching, Bengal uses each new course as an opportunity to become a better teacher. Known for creating an accessible, welcoming and motivating environment, he is committed to helping students succeed. From outstanding lectures to his comprehensive and user-friendly course design, Bengal's care, effort and passion are evident in his teaching. In 2020, he was the inaugural winner of the Department of Psychology's Associated Faculty Distinguished Teaching Award.
Lijuan Bi, lecturer, Department of Mathematics, The Ohio State University at Newark, College of Arts and Sciences
Known for her patience and kindness, Lijuan Bi inspires students to take an active role in learning as she supports and encourages them, wrote a nominator. Her use of alternative materials in the online environment inspired her to rethink her approach to classes geared toward the most at-risk students. Working collaboratively with colleagues and the Affordable Learning Exchange, Bi is developing new cost-free materials for a course redesign that will be implemented across all campus sections. Bi was honored with The Ohio State University at Newark Teaching Excellence Award in 2020 after only her first year at Ohio State Newark.
Ted Clark, associated faculty, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Arts and Sciences
His nominators noted that inclusive practices, evidence-based teaching strategies, promotion of a growth mindset, and strategic pre- and post-class assignments are pedagogical tactics Ted Clark has perfected that help change students' lives. Clark plays a crucial role in his department's efforts to narrow the performance gap for underrepresented minorities in large-enrollment science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses. And his work has encouraged more students to remain in STEM disciplines. His innovative use of technology for asynchronous learning personalizes learning and provides important access to the instructor and classmates for students. In 2017, he received the Ohio Project Kaleidoscope STEM Educator of the Year.
Molly Downing, assistant professor of practice, Division of Pharmacy Education and Innovation, College of Pharmacy
Not only is Molly Downing an exceptional instructor and educational trailblazer, but she is also a highly regarded teaching mentor noted her nominators. Working individually with teaching assistants and adjunct instructors, Downing supports their growth in content development and delivery, student assessment and best practices in online instructional design and delivery. Downing holds an online teaching endorsement from the Michael V. Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning. She also currently serves as assistant director for Generation Rx, the college's national outreach, engagement and education program that aims to teach safe medication practices across the lifespan. In 2021, she received the college's Faculty/Staff Award for Community Engagement.
Jenny Sheldon, assistant professor of teaching practice, Department of Mathematics, College of Arts and Sciences
Jenny Sheldon works hard to make every student feel that they can succeed, wrote one of her nominators. Her student-centered teaching approach demonstrates empathy and fosters engagement while ensuring a welcoming and safe classroom environment. Sheldon is at the forefront of math education and curriculum development as an integral member of the department's Math Education group. She is also involved in several informal groups, principally the math reading group, which discusses education research and its relations to math education. An accomplished and dedicated educator, Sheldon developed an elementary math grading system based on understanding and mastery.
Patrick Sours, senior lecturer; Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering; Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering; College of Engineering
An enthusiastic, patient and encouraging instructor, Patrick Sours is not only immensely successful in engaging students, but he also goes out of his way to create a culture of wellness, noted a nominator. He was recognized as a Diversity Partner in the College of Engineering's Inclusive Excellence Certificate Program. He also earned the Inclusive Teaching endorsement from the Michael V. Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning. Sours has been active in leading three important pedagogical innovations to serve students across the College of Engineering: establishing the Humanitarian Engineering Lab, Integrating a Cultural Competency Framework into his courses and renewing the Humanitarian Engineering minor.
All lecturers, senior lecturers and other associated faculty on all campuses who have taught undergraduate and/or graduate/professional students in the past three years are eligible for this award. Students, faculty and staff may put forward nominees.