Nicole Livengood describes her style of teaching as “energetic.”
As an English professor, Dr. Livengood teaches students from a variety of majors. She said her interactive lectures help her engage her students.
Livengood recently was named a 2019 McCoy Professor, the highest honor bestowed on professors at Marietta College. Biology professor, Dr. Lynn Bostrom, also was named a 2019 McCoy Professor.
“It’s a real honor,” Livengood said. “It’s really gratifying because as professors we invest so much into our students and we don’t always know if it works. And MC is a teaching school — it values and supports teaching.”
After 11 years working at Marietta College, Livengood loves what she does.
Livengood discovered her passion for teaching as a graduate student, and knew that she wanted her academic career to be student-centered. “It’s fabulous to work with students and help them grow,” she said.
Being named a McCoy Professor is a four-year designation that includes a bump in salary. It was established in 1993 as part of the McCoy Endowment for Teaching Excellence, donated by John G. McCoy ’35 and his late wife, Jeanne.
McCoy Professors are chosen by a review committee made up of professors from outside Marietta College. Finalists for the award undergo an extensive review including a teaching portfolio, classroom observations and interviews with students.
Livengood, who lives in Marietta with her husband and black lab Zoe, was nominated for the McCoy Professorship by fellow English professor Bev Hogue.
“Nicole brings so much knowledge and passion to the classroom that I wish I could take all her classes,” Hogue said. “She's a very caring professor who holds her students to high standards and comes up with innovative ways to help them understand difficult material.
“She also wears the coolest socks in the English department and keeps us all smiling.”
Bostrom, who teaches a variety of anatomy, biology and physiology courses, was encouraged to apply by a colleague familiar with her efforts to reach students through video lectures and other online learning initiatives. She also teaches the gross anatomy lab for the Physician Assistant Program.
“I have a lot of things I have found, or made,” she said of her videos and the like. “Students have to take their learning by the horns and they need good resources. It makes it easier for students to engage.”
Bostrom described the review process for the McCoy Professor as a true learning experience.
“(The members of the committee) are from very different backgrounds and they gave me ideas I can use,” she said. Overall, she sees achieving this distinction as a sign she’s making a difference.
“It encourages me to keep doing what I do,” she said. “I love it here — I am exactly where I always wanted to be. I’m living my dream, a small liberal arts college where I can have close contact with students and get to know them on a personal level. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.”
A self-proclaimed nerd, Bostrom loves Star Wars, Star Trek and Marvel movies and shares those interests with her students.
“I think it makes me seem a little more human,” she said. “I talk about my nieces, a little bit about my life, and it helps me make connections.”