Excellence in teaching has always been at the heart of Otterbein’s mission as a regional institution.

Teaching at Otterbein University

Otterbein’s faculty members are talented and engaged teachers. We expect high quality work, and design and enact curriculum to support students’ opportunities to be their best academic selves.

Some results of the National Survey of Student Engagement illustrate our commitment to teaching and learning (NSSE, 2017). Compared with similar colleges and universities, Otterbein receives highest marks from our students for:

  • Fostering a Supportive Environment: our students report that our services and activities support their learning and development;
  • Deploying effective Learning Strategies: our students report success in engaging, analyzing, and retaining knowledge;
  • Encouraging Student-Faculty Interaction: our students report significant, positive interactions with faculty, in and out of class;
  • Promoting Collaborative Learning: our students report widespread opportunities to work and learn collaboratively, valued skills in today’s job market.
  • Nurturing Quality Interactions: our students report positive, supportive relationships with other students, faculty, and staff.

Teaching Awards

Otterbein faculty are encouraged to nominate their peers for several annual teaching recognition awards at Otterbein.  Full time faculty can be nominated for the Teacher of the Year, New Teacher of the Year and Exemplary Teacher award.  Part Time faculty are recognized annually for teaching in their discipline or within an interdisciplinary or general education area.

A Teaching Award recipient exhibits the following skills: mastery of the subject matter in his or her discipline or in interdisciplinary teaching, highly effective organization and communication of material, a spirit of enthusiasm which enriches the instructor’s own teaching and learning, the ability to arouse the curiosity of beginning students and to stimulate advanced students to creative work, and the ability to interact with students beyond the classroom through activities that integrate and expand the learning environment.


teaching awards are presented each year to exemplary Otterbein faculty: 3 full time faculty awards and 2 part time faculty awards.

Teaching Award Recipients

Full-Time Faculty

Year Teacher of the Year New Teacher of the Year Exemplary Teacher
2023-2024 David Sheridan Bennett Grooms Cindy Laurie-Rose
2022-2023 Kristina Escondo Brandon Sinn Tammy Birk
2021-2022 Jennifer Merkowitz Rachel Schwartz Eric Jones
2020-2021 Dee Knoblauch Aida Odobasic Jeff Smith
2019-2020 Sarah Bouchard Jeremy Llorence Paul Wendel
2018-2019 Kim Fischer Carla Corroto James Gorman
2017-2018 Melissa Lusher Michael Hudoba Denise Hatter-Fisher
2016-2017 David Robertson Kristy McCray Patti Wilson
2015-2016 John Kengla Meredith Meyer  Gayle Walker
2014-2015 Suzanne Ashworth Anna Young  Kyriacos Aristotelous
2013-2014 Denise Shively Aaron Reinhard  Chuck Zimmerman
2012-2013 Jeff Demas John Chovan
2011-2012 John Tansey Shelley Payne
2010-2011 Chuck Zimmerman Tiffany Pempek
2009-2010 John Ludlum Karen Steigman
2008-2009 Joan Rocks Meredith Frey
2007-2008 Jeffrey Smith Kristin Reninger
2006-2007 Lyle Barkhymer Shannon Lakanen
2005-2006 John Swaim Gregory Sullivan
2004-2005 Robert Kraft Suzanne Ashworth
2003-2004 Susan Millsap John Tansey
2002-2003 Zengxiang Tong Amy Jessen-Marshall
2001-2002 Beth Daugherty Jeffrey Smith
2000-2001 John Buckles Noam Shpancer
1999-2000 Chris Reynolds Michele Acker
1998-1999 Joanne Stichweh Jeffrey Lehman
1997-1998 Paula Knight Lynn Taylor
1996-1997 James Bailey Laura Bennett-Murphy
1995-1996 none none
1994-1995 Patrick J. Lewis Elizabeth Smith

Part-Time Faculty

Year Interdisciplinary Programs &/or General Education Disciplinary
2023-2024 Amy Karns
2022-2023 Victoria Frisch Melinda Murphy
2021-2022 Nancy Paul Jesse Heetland
2020-2021 Casey J. Tucker Wendy N. Johnston
2019-2020 Stephan Frank Nadiya Timperman
2018-2019 Emily Tansey Matthew Grote
2017-2018 Jessie Glover Carol Young
2016-2017 Candyce Canzoneri Jessica Buschmann
2015-2016 Suzanne Schier-Happel David Riepenhoff
2014-2015 Margaret Lobb Debra Scheff

Center for Teaching & Learning: The CTL Studio

The CTL Studio is a learning environment designed for creativity, innovation, and collaboration. Designed using an open café concept with dedicated WiFi access to facilitate individual consultations as well as group sessions, it has flexible seating, whiteboards, reading materials, and other analog or digital tools, including a 55-inch flat screen TV to our multimedia workstations (Windows and Mac).

Faculty and departments can book time at the studio to work on their projects independently or in consultation with CTL staff.

  • Come and explore innovative technologies like virtual and augmented reality.
  • Learn how to integrate Brightspace in your courses or how to use applications like Impatica, Respondus, or Turning Point to enhance your in-class activities.
  • Take advantage of our professional audio, video, and content authoring tools to work on your media-related projects. Available programs include Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Express, and Camtasia Studio as well as graphic design or Web development software like Dreamweaver, InDesign, and Photoshop, among many others.