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Prestigious Ohio State award for teaching goes to Kamp Dush

Anthony Rodriguez
March 22, 2019

Ask Claire Kamp Dush’s students what they think of her as a professor and how much they learn, and the responses go something like this:

“Claire cares deeply about her students and their success.”

“She is high energy, compassionate and promotes diversity in her classroom.”

“She is passionate about research but also ensures that she takes the time to help inspire young minds in the field.”

The sterling reviews for Kamp Dush and her teaching methods are why she received the 2019 Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching from Ohio State.

“I’m surprised and honored,” the associate professor of human development and family science said. “My students are amazing and it’s an honor to teach them.”

Dean Don Pope-Davis, Department of Human Sciences Chair Erik Porfeli, Kamp Dush’s family and friends and representatives from The Office of Academic Affairs astonished her in front of students in her Family Development course Thursday.

The award is annually given to a maximum of 10 faculty for their teaching excellence. Two other Education and Human Ecology faculty also received the 2019 distinguished teaching award: Tami Augustine, clinical associate professor of teaching and learning; and Jackie Blount, professor of history and philosophy of education.

“We are so thrilled for one of our best, most beloved educators in Human Sciences,” Porfeli said. “This award begins right here in the classroom. It begins here with you students.”

Ohio State students applauding
Students in Kamp Dush's HDFS 2200 Family Development course stand and applaud their professor as it is revealed she received the Distinguished Teaching Award

Kamp Dush creates a classroom experience that keeps her students engaged. She uses a flipped classroom model for the in-class and online options of the Family Development course that keeps students actively learning and understanding the material.

She continually brings the latest research to her courses and is willing to take risks to find what works best for her students. She also takes advantage of the resources at Ohio State, which has improved her teaching over time, said Cynthia Buettner, professor of human development and family science.

It’s the personal touch, though, that has students such as Steph No, a human development and family science major, declaring Kamp Dush “the best professor that I have ever had.”

She cares about the well-being and success of her students, and builds her classes to maximize that support. She has created and redesigned courses specifically with the needs of her students in mind so they can succeed at all levels while at Ohio State and after they graduate.

Kamp Dush makes time to talk with students, even creating opportunities as a part of the curriculum to get to know students better. Her students rave about this aspect of her teaching.

“I genuinely believe that I could not have found a better graduate advisor for me than Claire,” said alumna Rachel Arocho, PhD ’18, MS ’15. “As a professor, both teacher and scholar, she is a role model I aspire to. I attribute my success in school and my ability to secure the wonderful job I have now to her mentorship and willingness to pour herself into her students.”

Claire Kamp Dush, her family and Ohio State administrators
Kamp Dush's family and administrators from Education and Human Ecology and Academic Affairs congratulate the associate professor.

Kamp Dush attends to the specific needs of women and underrepresented young people at Ohio State, too, while encouraging them to challenge stereotypes and fight for themselves.

She recently provided a seminar to teach undergraduate women strategies to fight against imposter syndrome and put their best selves forward for their careers. She has done the same for underrepresented students, helping them explore options for graduate school and academic careers.

Kamp Dush is no stranger to recognition for her excellence in teaching. In 2014, she earned the College of Education and Human Ecology’s Distinguished Teaching Award. With this teaching award, the university’s most prestigious, Kamp Dush will be inducted into Ohio State’s Academy of Teaching later this year.

“I have never had a professor that I have connected this much with,” said Jennifer Pochter, a health sciences major. “She deserves this award so much, and really is a special person!”

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