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.
Senior Lecturer, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
College of Arts and Sciences
Elena Foulis is an active member of The Ohio State University's community with an inspiring commitment to civic outreach and engagement. A faculty member in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese since 2008, she has developed partnerships with numerous organizations throughout central Ohio, in particular those serving members of the Latina/o community. Her work as a service-learning teacher and coordinator has been instrumental in connecting students with a variety of community partners, and was celebrated by Ohio State’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion in 2014 and the Ohio Hispanic Coalition in 2018.
Foulis has proven herself a true innovator as a lecturer in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. She routinely teaches Spanish 5689S, a Spanish language service-learning course designed to expose students to Ohio’s diverse and growing Latina/o communities. She has led the department in incorporating digital technologies into the classroom, playing a key role in developing digital storytelling as a pedagogical tool and serving as a facilitator in the Digital Storytelling Project sponsored by the Digital Union and University Libraries.
In collaboration with the OCIO’s Affordable Learning Exchange project, Foulis developed an eBook on Latina/o stories across Ohio and is currently developing a second book to be used in lower-division Spanish courses. These efforts will save students thousands of dollars in book costs. Elena also directs the Ohio Habla podcast series that delivers relevant content about the Latina/o community in Ohio to listeners around the world.
Foulis serves as member of the President and Provost Council on Women, and as an executive board member for ACE Ohio, an organization that works to advance women in higher education.
Lecturer, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
College of Arts and Sciences
Galit Golan is a veteran educator with a remarkable talent for building connections with her students. She strongly believes in practicing continuous improvement in the classroom and adapting her teaching style on a daily basis through professional development, insights from co-teachers and feedback from students.
Golan’s teaching philosophy stresses personalized-approaches to education. She is known to tell her students that “we are in this together.” As one of her Hebrew 2 students recalls, “Galit said to us, ‘If you are getting something wrong and don't understand, you need to ask. Just stop class, come see me, anything you need, because when you don't know something it means I didn't do my job well enough….
My job is to teach in any way that you can understand, and if you don't understand one way, I'll teach it to you in another, because that is my job.’” During her time at Ohio State, Golan has earned a reputation for going above and beyond with her students, offering extended office hours and making use of technology such as Skype to stay connected.
Golan takes great pride in inspiring a passion for the Hebrew language and Israeli culture in her students, preparing them to be lifelong learners and instilling in them the necessary skills for independent language learning.
She received her master’s degree in Jewish education from Hebrew College in Boston, her teaching degree from Bar Ilan University in Israel and a Bachelor of Art in Hebrew literature and Jewish history from Israel’s Tel Aviv University.
Clinical Instructor, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
College of Medicine
Christine Griffin brings to the classroom expertise in both clinical practice and occupational therapy research. A thoughtful and thorough educator, her approach coaxes students out of their comfort zones, ensuring they have the confidence necessary to succeed in real-world occupational therapy settings.
Griffin’s passion for occupational therapy and patient care shines through in the classroom, making for a warm and welcoming environment. She goes to great lengths to provide her students with interactive and wholly unique educational experiences. In the past, she has created opportunities for students to practice evaluations, assessments and treatment and discharge planning by recruiting actual patients who have suffered strokes to volunteer in her class over a six-week period. Her expectations are established on day one and revisited each week to help students remain engaged and on track throughout the entirety of the semester.
“I have not come across another professor that puts so much effort into her students academically, professionally or personally as professor Griffin,” says one student. “She connects well with her students, earns their respect, pushes them the right amount and is as well equipped for her job as she is compassionate.”
In 2016, Griffin received the Faculty Teaching Award for Adjunct and Clinical Instructor from the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. She was a recipient of the HITE Outstanding Contributions to Occupational Therapy Award and the Ohio Occupational Therapy Association Model Practice in Rehabilitation Award in 2014 and 2011 respectively.
Griffin earned her Bachelor of Science degrees in biology and pre-occupational therapy from Capital University and her Master of Science in occupational therapy from the University of Indianapolis. She is currently pursuing a PhD at Ohio State.
Lecturer, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
College of Engineering
Satya Seetharaman brings an engineer’s approach to education: he builds a sturdy base of knowledge and then carefully scaffolds new ideas until, almost unbelievably, a grand structure is in place. An average lesson from Seetharaman is peppered with jokes about the topics at hand, along with a series of challenging questions, all of which are designed to keep his class excited and engaged.
An integral member of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Seetharaman frequently teaches some of the department’s most challenging courses. Despite this—or perhaps because of it—he routinely receives glowing feedback from his students and the highest evaluation scores of any instructor, tenured or otherwise, in the entire department.
“I have never had a professor who has inspired me to learn and understand material for a class like I did in Professor Seetharaman's class,” writes one student. “He has pushed me to go above and beyond when it comes to my own education, yet guides me when I have trouble … He embodies qualities that every professor should have, and then he goes above and beyond that.”
Other students are similarly effusive about Seetharaman’s talents, sharing: “By far the best professor I've ever had”; “In Mechanical Engineering, Satya is the best lecturer by a notable margin”; "Always a pleasure being in Dr. Seetharaman's class”; and, “Satya is a legend. He is a tough teacher but ultimately teaches the material better than any other professor I have ever had.”
In addition to being an outstanding teacher, Seetharaman has enriched the mechanical engineering curriculum by developing two new courses, including a hands-on experimental course designed especially for undergrads.
Thomas S. Stewart
Lecturer, Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership
College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences
Tom Stewart had two professional goals in life: to succeed in broadcasting and to become a lecturer in human and community resource development at his alma mater, The Ohio State University. After accomplishing the first, he took on the second.
Stewart is known among his students for his enthusiasm for the subject material, his love of learning and his passion for teaching. A project from his course Campaign Design and Management is illustrative of his larger approach to engaging students. Stewart will arrange for student teams to meet with real clients and to develop a campaign for their organization. This sort of hands-on activity lights imaginations and provides students an invaluable glimpse at their future careers.
Stewart’s commitment to positioning Buckeyes for success extends beyond innovative assignments. Recognizing a gap in undergraduate preparation, he proposed and designed a new course to connect students with his network of community partners. In recognition of his many contributions to the department, Stewart was awarded the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Educator Award.
Prior to his time as a lecturer at Ohio State, Stewart was vice president of WBNS Radio and elected to the Board of Directors of the company. In his role as radio station manager, he was the exclusive radio voice for the station’s coverage of Ohio State football and basketball. In 1992, Stewart took a position as general manager of WBNS-TV, serving as a senior executive there until his retirement in 2001. It is this circuitous path to the classroom that has helped make Stewart such an effective and memorable educator.
Stewart is a community leader, philanthropist and native Ohioan. He attended Upper Arlington High School and graduated from The Ohio State University with degrees in communication and education.
Sinead M. Yarberry
Instructor of Clinical Practice
College of Nursing
Sinead M. Yarberry developed her love of teaching during graduate school at The Ohio State University, where she worked as a graduate teaching associate for five quarters.
Now an instructor of clinical practice, Yarberry maintains a warm, lively classroom where opportunities for interactive learning abound. She encourages deep inquiry into course content and shows a genuine love for helping students along on their path toward becoming medical professionals. During her time as an instructor, she has earned a reputation as a teacher quick to connect with students struggling in the lab in a way that builds confidence and understanding. Yarberry recognizes the importance of clear communication and goes out of her way to keep channels open. She makes time for meeting both in her office and remotely—including one notable time from the middle of a family vacation. In the classroom, she is known to share anecdotes that build rapport and deepen the learning experience. “She is not only a great lecturer,” said one student, “she is organized, flexible reasonable, transparent and positive without being saccharine. Her genuine love for teaching and students is evident.”
Yarberry has advocated for her students outside of the classroom as well—proposing changes to the course curriculum that allow for one-on-one preceptorships experience instead of the traditional 8:1 student-faculty ratio.
Yarberry teaches clinically at both the graduate and undergraduate levels and provides guest lectures on oncology. She earned her Bachelor of Science in nursing from Ohio State in June 2007. She worked on the hematology/oncology unit at the James Cancer Hospital caring for patients with leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma before becoming a full-time clinical faculty member in Summer 2011. She earned her graduate interdisciplinary specialization in college and university teaching along with her master’s degree in nursing in March 2011.