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Five faculty members make magazine's Excellence in Education list

December 07, 2017

Five Ursuline College faculty members have made Ohio Magazine’s 2017 Excellence in Education list, recognizing their outstanding teaching. They are Associate Professor Katherine Jackson, Ph.D., Professor Timothy Kinsella, Ph.D., Professor George Matejka, Ph.D., Instructor Kate Sewell, MSN, RN, and Assistant Professor Bari Oyler Stith, Ph.D.

Associate Professor Katherine Jackson, Ph.D.
Counseling and Art Therapy

Jackson teaches in the graduate Counseling and Art Therapy program, where she created a Service Learning Program to help students increase awareness of global issues and see justice in action. In recent years, she has led service learning trips to Hungary, Nepal, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Ecuador.

“Dr. Jackson demonstrates exceptional knowledge, enthusiasm, teaching ability and genuine care for students, extending beyond the classroom,” said Kathryn LaFontana, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs. Jackson earned her Ph.D. in psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, California.

Professor Timothy Kinsella, Ph.D.
Kinsella chairs the History Department, teaching urban, state and national politics through a broad political and social context, often focusing on the challenges of Cleveland. He is the author of numerous papers and presentations on regional economic development and takes great pride in seeing his students formulate a research question, research that question, gather evidence, and present a thesis. He has been awarded both the Teaching Excellence Award and the Facilitator of the Year Award from Ursuline College. 

“Dr. Kinsella’s academic career has produced numerous and distinguished research projects, including published papers, presentations, book reviews, encyclopedia entries, and contributions to books and monographs,” said LaFontana. Kinsella earned a Ph.D. in American studies from Case Western Reserve University.

Professor George Matejka, Ph.D.
Matejka teaches in and is chair of the Philosophy Department. “Dr. Matejka’s ability to engage the students while safely allowing them to explore and discuss their ethical growth and define their moral compass is a reflection of his ability to create an environment that embraces inclusion and diversity,” said LaFontana. He has been awarded the Teaching Excellence Award, Facilitator of the Year Award and the Marie LoPresti Faculty Award for Community Service from Ursuline. Matejka earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from Duquesne University and a licentiate in sacred theology with a specialization in biblical studies from the Gregorian University in Rome.

Because of his expertise in bioethics, Matejka has been appointed to serve on the ethics committees of both St. Vincent Charity Medical Center and Jennings Center for Older Adults. He has published reviews of several books in the field of animals and ethics and has lectured at conferences at Oxford University, Yale and Michigan State University.

Instructor Kate Sewell, MSN, RN
Sewell, MSN, RN, is an instructor in Ursuline’s Breen School of Nursing. Over the past three years, student evaluations recognized the quality of the educational experience she offers. One student remarked, “Ms. Sewell is very knowledgeable and knows how to bring the best out of students.”

Said LaFontana, “Ms. Sewell uses technology and theory bursts to effectively facilitate the learning process and she mentors other faculty in the use of creative teaching strategies. In addition to student events, she volunteers as the Advisor for Student Nurses of Ursuline College and Medwish International.

Assistant Professor Bari Oyler Stith, Ph.D.
Historic Preservation
Stith is director of historic preservation, teaching at the both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition to her activity in historic preservation and heritage interpretation, she has worked in archival preservation, oral history, and exhibit development. Her current research projects focus on the intersections between community identity, heritage, and preservation in frontier and rural communities with special emphasis on women’s experience and the importance of place in personal and community identity.

“Students in Dr. Stith’s program and classes experience a genuine sense of caring in the way she teaches and works with them. She genuinely wants to make sure that her students learn and succeed. She also recognizes that her students have their own stories and experiences to bring to their learning,” LaFontana said.

She earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from Case Western Reserve University.

See the entire list of educators honored by Ohio Magazine here.

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