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Five Otterbein professors nominated for Ohio Magazine’s Excellence in Education 2017

Five Otterbein professors nominated for Ohio Magazine’s Excellence in Education 2017

By Meagan Van Stone ‘19

Otterbein University is proud to announce five nominations for Ohio Magazine’s Excellence in Education 2017 edition: Jessie Glover, John Kengla, Patti Wilson, Suzanne Ashworth and Grace McDaniel. Here are excerpts from the nomination form for each Otterbein professor.

Jessie Glover teaches in the Department of Theatre and Dance. Glover is beloved by students and colleagues. She is considered one of the model citizens who exemplifies Otterbein’s core values. She is very involved in extra-curricular activities, helping students to devise performances about diversity and inclusion, teaching courses and creating theatre performances with the prison population in Marion. She lives her values of improving the public good and raising awareness. In her classes, students learn more about themselves and their intellectual and creative potential.

John Kengla is a senior instructor and oversees first and senior year experiences. Kengla has an overall goal to engage minds to think purposefully about big issues that confront individuals and society. By introducing students to a variety of interdisciplinary resources, he sets the tone in his classes in a caring, unassuming manner so that students open up in astounding ways to new information, unfamiliar experiences and deep engagement. He challenges students in a variety of service-learning experiences and exposes them to situations in which they must solve complex problems by meeting the needs of diverse audiences. He is often leading groups of Otterbein students to inner-city classrooms and talking about college success and leadership opportunities.

Patti Wilson teaches in the Department of Health and Sport Sciences. Wilson has made teaching her first love and passion. She is always searching for ways to improve these skills. She is consistently energetic, active, engaging and organized in her teaching approach. Students have described never having a dull moment in her classes. She is deeply embedded in the community and performs as much community service as her schedule will allow, such as coordinating a 5k run to combat childhood hunger in Westerville. Her community experiences have translated into meaningful enhancements to her teaching as she uses her interests to bring different approaches to the classroom.

Suzanne Ashworth teaches in the Department of English. Ashworth is an outstanding teacher and leader in developing pedagogies for a wide range of classes. Her approaches constantly evolve to meet students where they are and to propel them well beyond their own initial expectations. She leads students on journeys toward enrichment, success and higher knowledge by creating an atmosphere of respect, an open-exchange of ideas and safety for students pursuing difficult subject matter. She advocates the for the LGBTQIA+ community and her dedication to bringing a voice to previously silenced student and faculty experiences within it are evident in her tireless work with student organizations and with her leadership in creating a more inclusive campus.

Grace McDaniel teaches in the Department of Education. McDaniel uses teaching, scholarship and service work together toward the goal of improving education for all children. As a teacher, she creates a classroom that fosters engaging pedagogy, places emphasis on culturally relevant teaching and affirms the individual. As a scholar, she studies teaching practices for children in poverty and homelessness. As a member of the community, she gives her educational expertise and leadership to organizations like YMCA/Head Start and the Dowd Education Center of the Homeless Families Foundation.

Ohio Magazine introduced their Excellence in Education program in December 2003 to allow Ohio colleges and universities to acknowledge their school’s amazing educators. Each year, more than 100 professors and their institutions are recognized.