Three faculty members honored with Harness Outstanding Educator Award
Rick Smith believes people remember experiences, whether it’s attending a professional sporting event or his class at Marietta College.
“In sports, you can’t sell wins and losses, but you can sell the experience,” he said.
Smith, an Assistant Professor of Sport Management, is one of three Marietta College professors receiving the annual Edward G. Harness Outstanding Educator Award. The others include Dr. Dennis Kuhl, Professor of Physics, and Sara Rosenstock, Associate Professor of Graphic Design.
The Edward G. Harness Outstanding Educator Award honors Marietta College faculty for their high level of commitment to the education of students both in and out of the classroom. Nominations are made and a review includes faculty and student evaluations. Recipients of the award receive $7,000 and another $1,000 to be used in their teaching.
Smith said his high energy approach to teaching sticks with his students.
“I had a first-grade teacher who used to stand on a table to get students’ attention,” he said. “I don’t do that, but I try to find a way to relate the material I’m teaching to real life.
“I feed off the energy of my students,” he added. “My classes don’t feel like classes."
Unique to Smith’s classes is a computer program called Shoflo, which is used to plan and execute halftime shows and other events. Students get experience with the latest software which helps them to be a step above others when competing for internships and jobs.
Kuhl, who is also the Physics Department chair, is known for his teaching inside and outside of the classroom.
Kuhl said it’s important for him to mentor students and offer them opportunities beyond his classes. He does that by allowing students to participate in original research through his surface science laboratory and also by bringing in Marietta College physics alums and others to speak to students through the College’s Physics Colloquium.
“The Physics Colloquium brings in speakers and presentations that expose students to the wider world of physics,” he said.
It’s important for physics students to see the variety of career paths possible.
“It can open new lines of thinking,” he said.
Rosenstock is the third Harness award winner.
Like Kuhl and Smith, Rosenstock provides her students with real-life opportunities outside of the classroom. One recent example paired design students with elementary school teachers in the Marietta area. The students were asked to create something that would help teach grade school students a specific concept. Examples included solving fractions, learning vocabulary words or state capitals, even a board game to teach students about economics.
“It is very nice to be recognized by the College for making a concerted effort to engage my students beyond the classroom,” Rosenstock said. “I take great pleasure in teaching my students how they can use their power to design to help our community.”
Harness was a native of Marietta and 1940 Marietta College graduate. He has been called one of the great American business leaders of the 20th century. His résumé includes serving as CEO of Proctor & Gamble from 1974-81. Under Harness’ leadership, Procter & Gamble’s sales doubled and it became the world’s largest manufacturer of consumer products.
Harness also served on the Marietta College Board of Trustees. He died in 1984 and an endowment in his name supports the annual Edward G. Harness awards, granted to up to three Marietta College faculty members each year.