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Trumbull News Detail

Fashion Professor Earns 2013 Distinguished Teaching Award

Posted Mar. 10, 2014
enter photo description
Catherine Leslie, Ph.D.,associate professor in Kent
State University’s School of Fashion Design and
Merchandising, is flanked by John Crawford (left), dean
of the College of the Arts, and J.R. Campbell (right),
director of the Fashion School. Leslie was honored with
a Distinguished Teaching Award for outstanding skills in
classroom teaching.

Making it possible for every student to shine, and inspiring and connecting them to a world of possibilities are qualities that led to Catherine Leslie, Ph.D., being honored with the prestigious Distinguished Teaching Award.

The Distinguished Teaching Award honors three full-time faculty members who consistently demonstrate outstanding skills in classroom teaching every year.

Leslie, an associate professor in Kent State University’s School of Fashion Design and Merchandising,   has taught more than 4,000 students in her 11 years of teaching at the university. She received a Graduate Applause recognition from the University Teaching Council, the Student Choice Award from the Fashion School and the Outstanding Faculty Award from Student Disability Services.

“I’m proud to have my efforts appreciated,” says Leslie. “I work very hard on the scholarship of teaching, and I feel like being a good teacher is a whole different set of skills.”

Prerna Suri, senior fashion merchandising major, says Leslie has so much knowledge to share and has her own innovative way of challenging students.

“Dr. Leslie keeps on inspiring students with so much enthusiasm and motivation,” says Suri. “She improves her students’ weaknesses and enhances their strengths.”

Leslie says she has worked very closely with her students at the university and after they graduate. Melissa Ruppert, fashion merchandising alumna, attests to that, saying that Leslie has been an endless resource even after graduation.

“I was able to contact around 10 alumni from a list she gave me to receive advice regarding the industry,” Ruppert says. “A couple of those conversations actually resulted in job interviews. I consider her a huge part of why I have gotten offers for amazing internships and now my dream job.”

Leslie has taught and developed more than 13 classes. She also has been selected as the graduate coordinator of the Master of Fashion (MFASH) program that will be accepting students starting this fall.

“I make learning fun, and I want my students to be smarter when they leave my class,” says Leslie. “Students will tell me multiple semesters later that they remember what they learned, and that just thrills me.”