2017 Provost's Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Lecturer

All lecturers, senior lecturers and other associated faculty who have taught undergraduate or graduate/professional courses in the last three years are eligible for this award.
Image of Amy C. Barnes

Amy C. Barnes

Senior Lecturer, Department of Educational Studies



Amy C. Barnes does not just teach about leadership—she exemplifies it. Her expertise in leadership development serves her students inside the classroom and out. Students have called her a trailblazer and a passionate educator, and they give her consistently positive evaluations. Ohio State applicants to the department’s higher education and student affairs master’s program frequently mention Barnes as a mentor and an instructor who has influenced their chosen career paths. In addition to mentoring students, Barnes has also supervised and mentored 56 adjunct lecturers.

Barnes takes an active role in developing course materials, co-authoring two texts on leadership and developing the materials now used in the Sophomore Transformational Experience Program. Her contributions extend beyond the department and the college as well, as she has built partnerships with the Department of Educational Studies and the Office of Student Life. As a result, students can now take leadership and service-learning courses that are offered in conjunction with Student Life. She has also developed a leadership course in conjunction with Fisher College of Business. Ohio State students can now also declare a minor in leadership, which Barnes played an active role in launching.

A former student who is now a student affairs professional says Barnes is setting “the standard of modern collegiate leadership development” and is “advancing the socially responsible leadership capacities of both undergraduate and graduate students at Ohio State.”

Barnes holds an EdD in educational policy, planning and leadership from the College of William and Mary. Her areas of expertise include leadership development of college students, strengths-based leadership, positive psychology, service-learning, cultural competency and leadership development.

Image of Hope C. Dawson

Hope C. Dawson

Senior Lecturer, Department of Linguistics



Hope C. Dawson is among her department’s most effective teachers, earning exceptionally high evaluation scores even in her large, introductory classes. Class size does not prevent Dawson from connecting with her students, who have described her as genuine, “the real deal” and the very definition of a great teacher.

Dawson takes an active role in the success of the department’s graduate teaching assistants, visiting each GTA’s classroom every semester to observe and provide feedback. Under her coordination, three of the department’s GTAs have won the university-wide Graduate Associate Teaching Award. She regularly participates in professional development to advance her own teaching and is regarded in the department as a pedagogical expert.

Outside the classroom, Dawson has taken over as chief editor of the department’s leading textbook, Language Files. Her breadth and depth of knowledge and her extensive editorial experience have helped the book maintain its status as a preeminent linguistics text, even as more linguistic texts come on the market.

Dawson also plays an important role in curriculum development as a member of the chair’s planning team. Her assessment of which GTAs to assign to which classes is particularly insightful because of her deep understanding of their strengths. During the semester conversion process, Dawson’s pedagogical insight proved invaluable as she led the department in course revision.

Dawson holds a PhD in Linguistics from The Ohio State University. Her research interests include historical linguistics with a focus on Indo-European linguistics and Sanskrit.

Image of Kim M. Lopez

Kim M. Lopez

Lecturer, Department of Sociology



Kim M. Lopez is known for her ability to create energy and excitement in her classes. Once students have experienced her engaging style and interesting activities, they come back for more, intentionally seeking out Lopez’s sections. Students even choose her courses when they are on a topic unrelated to their interests, because they know she will create a valuable learning experience. Lopez is often asked to write letters of recommendation; she’s written 87 so far. She frequently receives thank you notes from students who are grateful for her gift for teaching.

Lopez has taken on courses with notoriously low enrollment and transformed them into classes taught every semester thanks to student word-of-mouth. She is adept at linking in-class learning with real-world experiences by leveraging community resources such as the coroner’s office, the Columbus Public Health Department, the Hilltop YMCA and Lifeline of Ohio.

Outside the classroom, Lopez is a relationship-builder, particularly between Ohio State and the Columbus community. In addition to taking her students into the field, she brings local experts into the classroom to speak on relevant topics and to conduct workshops. It’s a time-intensive approach that proves rewarding and enriching for her students.

Lopez is also a champion for the well-being of all Ohio State students. She frequently visits residence halls to give talks on suicide prevention, and she has been recognized by the Office of Disability Services for promoting the academic success of student with disabilities.

Lopez holds an MA in clinical psychology from John F. Kennedy University. Her areas of expertise include social psychology, child and family and thanatology.

Image of Ryan J. McPherson

Ryan J. McPherson

Lecturer, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering



In Ryan J. McPherson’s talented hands, a once-unpopular course has been revolutionized. Students rate the class significantly higher under McPherson’s management for his ability to run the class efficiently, deliver real-world examples that improve comprehension and develop a rapport with students that encourages engagement. Students speak about McPherson in superlative terms, calling him the greatest and the best. They call his lectures fun—a word students did not use to describe this class in the past.

Faculty within and outside the department describe McPherson as refreshing, and his efforts in the classroom go above and beyond. He draws upon his own school experiences, allowing him to build stronger connections and empathy with his students. To improve engagement outside the classroom, he makes recordings of his lectures available online for students to review at their own pace, and he provides copious resources like old exams and problem sets with answers.

For his exceptional commitment to teaching excellence, McPherson has been appointed course supervisor for all 2000-level classes in the department. He also served on a committee to reorganize two major-entry courses into three new ones, leading the development of a course on circuits that has proven highly successful. McPherson has also served on the Undergraduate Studies Committee and the Laboratory Safety Committee, where he has made valuable contributions.

Ryan McPherson holds a PhD in electrical engineering from Auburn University. His areas of expertise include cleanroom and fabrication, and analog and digital electronics design.

Image of Noel M. Paul

Noel M. Paul

Assistant Professor, associated faculty appointment, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry



Even among his largest sections, Noel M. Paul consistently earns high ratings on his student evaluations for his ability to inspire students and build their enthusiasm for chemistry. He engages students in real-world research in second-year organic chemistry labs, and has a forthcoming paper on the results discovered in one of his classes.

Paul is committed to the continuous improvement of his courses and the student lab experience. He has played a key role in transforming the organic chemistry lab into a paperless environment—an advancement that has resulted in faster and more accurate feedback on student calculations and a reduction in grading loads for teaching assistants.

Along with colleagues, Paul has continued to develop the department’s digital lab report system and is incorporating new software programs into courses to ensure consistency and fairness across all sections. He has also instituted the use of tablets in the lab to improve efficiency and feedback to students. Paul also takes an active role in improving the lab materials available to students, and has published two organic chemistry laboratory manuals with a colleague. Students often praise the course materials and Paul’s enthusiasm for chemistry and ability to explain difficult concepts.

Paul’s support for undergraduate student research makes him an asset to the department and its students. He is an effective mentor, evidenced by his students’ productivity; under Paul’s guidance, several have been invited to make presentations on their work.

Paul holds a PhD in organic chemistry from The Ohio State University. His area of specialization is laboratory teaching.

Image of Alice M. Teall

Alice M. Teall

Instructor of Practice, College of Nursing



Alice M. Teall’s students say she inspires them to be resilient, to make a big impact on patients, and to find their passion within the profession of nursing.

Teall leads the distance-delivered family nurse practitioner specialty track in the College of Nursing, a program ranked third in U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of online master’s programs in nursing. Her work with this program has expanded nursing education access to registered nurses and nurse practitioners across the state of Ohio in areas with a shortage of health care providers. She leads and mentors faculty and teaches didactic and clinical courses in the program and other online courses. She is also an advisor to roughly 25 students each year.

As a teacher, Teall is always seeking ways to improve instruction and student comprehension. Her curriculum is highly effective, thanks to her innovative use of technology, including the development of new evaluation tools for students in advanced health assessment. With a certification pass rate of nearly 100 percent, there is no doubt that Teall’s approach to online teaching and assessment is benefitting her students. In 2016, Teall was named Graduate Educator of the Year by the College of Nursing.

Teall is respected internationally for her leadership in the delivery of integrated mental health and primary care for adolescents, and she has practiced extensively in an inner-city adolescent center and an inpatient treatment facility for adolescent drug and alcohol addiction. Teall uses her experience in this arena to facilitate students’ learning and expand their proficiency with mental health care.

Teall holds a DNP from The Ohio State University and an MS in nursing from Wright State University.

Nominations                    Previous Winners