The University of Toledo recently recognized three instructors with the distinction of Distinguished University Lecturer.
The Board of Trustees approved the honor at its April 13 meeting honoring the individuals for advancing student learning, supporting student success, and demonstrating a commitment to the University’s educational mission.
The newest Distinguished University Lecturers are:
• Katharine Fisher, senior lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics;
• Dr. Jeanne M. Kusina, associate lecturer in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies in the College of Arts and Letters; and
• Dr. Caren Steinmiller, associate lecturer in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
“We’re proud to recognize these individuals with the highest honor our University can bestow upon a lecturer,” said Dr. Karen Bjorkman, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “These dedicated educators have earned this recognition because of their passion for teaching and making an impact on their students.”
Fisher joined UToledo in 2004. Throughout her career, she has served as a mentor and supervisor for teachers and course coordinators. She co-authored the textbook, “Interactive Applied Calculus,” published by Pearson and has served as one of the program coordinators for summer math camp. Fisher received the College of Natural Science and Mathematics Excellence in Teaching Award in 2016. Her consistently positive teaching evaluations from students note innovative ways for making difficult topics easy to understand.
“I’ve always loved teaching, and it’s a pleasure to be part of a large team of faculty in my department, where we have the incredible opportunity to impact nearly every student who comes to The University of Toledo,” Fisher said. “Many students arrive on campus terrified of math class, doubting their abilities, and questioning the relevance of math to their lives and careers. It’s extremely rewarding to see them develop critical thinking skills and embrace challenging concepts, emerging at the end with a new appreciation for mathematics and its relevance to their future.”
Kusina has been a member of the UToledo faculty since 2009. She specializes in ethics, gender and personal identity, and was recognized in 2014 as a UToledo Diversity Champion. Kusina also has received the Innovations in Teaching Award: Exploring Writing Across the Curriculum. With a strong record of teaching and student-centeredness, her evaluations have demonstrated the impact of her teaching with one student commenting they “will definitely look at the world differently after this.”
“I am deeply moved and humbled to be named a Distinguished University Lecturer,” Kusina said. “In the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, we focus our research and teaching activities on promoting diversity, social justice and critical engagement. Over the years, I have found the interaction with the diverse perspectives of students and colleagues at The University of Toledo to be extremely enriching. I am always excited to teach in this progressive environment and eagerly look forward to the future as a continuing member of a team that places such an emphasis on the success of all of its students and faculty.”Steinmiller joined the University in 2008. She completed four post-doctoral fellowships as part of her training and maintains active involvement in professional organizations. Steinmiller has engaged in numerous research studies, including clinical studies that resulted in peer reviewed publications, and she demonstrated leadership in the UToledo Opioid Task Force. She has a strong record of effective teaching and student success initiatives, including large lectures with student evaluation comments that state she is an excellent teacher and very knowledgeable about her topics.
“Receiving the honor of Distinguished University Lecturer is a highlight in my career as an educator,” Steinmiller said. “I truly love all the students, student organizations and programs that I’ve had the opportunity to really get to know over the last 12 years at UToledo, especially the nickname ‘SNPhA mom’ that was bestowed on me by [the UToledo Student National Pharmaceutical Association] several years ago. This distinction is also a reflection of the great people I work with every day in my department, college, University and community.
“I am especially humbled by my former students who have gone on to begin their own distinguished careers, but still take the time to catch up with me. They have included me in their personal and professional milestones, from weddings and baby showers, to instillation into the U.S. Armed Forces, and as an honored guest at the award ceremonies celebrating their wonderful accomplishments. I am truly honored to be recognized for my part in helping shape the next generation of leaders and educators.”