Ashland University Honors Professor with Taylor Teaching Award

Ashland University Honors Professor with Taylor Teaching Award
Ashland University’s Dr. Lisa Young speaks at the Academic Honors Convocation after receiving AU’s 2017 Taylor Excellence in Teaching Award.

4/24/17 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University’s Dr. Lisa Young, assistant professor of nursing in the Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences, is the recipient of AU’s 2017 Taylor Excellence in Teaching Award. AU Provost Dr. Eun-Woo Chang presented the award at AU’s Academic Honors Convocation on Sunday, April 23, in the Jack and Deb Miller Chapel.

The award, first presented in 1997, was endowed by former Jeromesville residents the late Edward and Louaine Taylor as a way of supporting high quality teaching at Ashland University.

Chang praised the selection of Young as the 2017 Taylor Teaching Award recipient, noting that she is highly deserving of this recognition. “I am pleased to see Dr. Young earn this well-deserved recognition for her teaching excellence. She clearly exhibits passion and love for teaching,” said Chang.

Following the award presentation, Young spoke about her philosophy surrounding the teaching of students in an address titled “H-E-A-R-T: Higher Education Adopting Realism Tools.”

Young began by expressing how honored she felt to be receiving this award. She thanked both the Taylor Teaching Award committee for selecting her and the Taylor family for supporting teaching.

“I realized it would be hard for me to know the best way to address such a diverse group and so I am going to talk about what I know and understand the best, the H-E-A-R-T,” she said.

Young said health care professionals are known for their acronyms. “We have people who care for you -- the RN, MD, NP, DO, PCA, LPN, CRNA and we have diseases CAD, MS, ARF, CVA, but the list doesn’t stop here -- we have diagnostic testing CBC, CMP, LFT, MRI,” she said. “I have not quite determined why we use so many of these acronyms….are we lazy? Busy? Or unable to spell? No matter what the reason, I will stay in the tradition of the profession and talk about “H-E-A-R-T” – the Higher Education Adopting Realistic Tools.”

Young noted that “we are in a constantly changing society and it is vital for us to change with it.”

“Simulation has changed the way we educate students. Additionally, we speak about student centered learning, which is defined as the student taking responsibility for their learning and the educator being the facilitator,” she said. “There are a few fundamental problems with this -- the biggest one being sometimes the students ‘don’t know what they don’t know.’”

Young said simulation as a realistic educational tool allows students in a patient care scenario to demonstrate the knowledge they have, the knowledge areas that are weak and where are there gaps in their knowledge. The education occurs after the simulated experience when discussion occurs about decisions that were made and outcomes that occurred because of those decisions.

“The educator is the facilitator, asking questions to build on the knowledge they have and students work with each other to fill in the gaps of information needed to improve educational outcomes,” she said. “Students are often amazed at what they know and their confidence to practice nursing increases. Simulation is one realistic tool that can be used to facilitate this deeper understanding and the development of knowledge to improve practice outcomes.”

Young said that many times acronyms have the same letters, but different meanings such as PT can be patient or physical therapy. She said the word “heart” also has different meanings. “First, the heart is the core of something – the heart of the matter. It is foundational to life. The baby first has a heartbeat at three weeks and one day, while life may be present before this, this heartbeat is the proof we hear that life exists.”

She noted that as the baby develops, the nose forms, legs kick and lips move, and while this is good, this development cannot take place without the heart.

“Education also has a core and foundation and as we expand our knowledge, we cannot forget our foundation. In college, students study the sciences, communication, English, philosophy and other courses that are part of their core requirements. These courses are the core of nursing knowledge,” she said. “The first time in the simulation lab when we talk about chest pain and the aerobic and anaerobic cycle, I see a moment of dread in their eyes…. knowledge they hoped was in the past. But we dust off the cob webs and apply this core knowledge to our scenario. Knowledge is powerful, but only if we can apply that knowledge to life.”

Young noted that it was Aristotle who said, “Educating the mind without educating the Heart is not education at all.”

“Educating the heart allows a person to show compassion, empathy, sympathy and love, even to those who may not deserve it. It is important that we do not ignore the difficult situations in life when we are educating students,” she said. “Ethics, philosophy and spirituality are also foundational to education. Knowledge may facilitate the performance of a skill, but the Heart sees the experience. Some will experience the joy of the mother giving birth; some will share the love of a family as they sit at the bedside of the hospice patient; some will feel the relief of the patient as they ring the bell of their last chemotherapy treatment; some will watch multiple monitors and mechanical devices as they are the defense for the patient who is depending on a machine to help them breath; some will work in rehabilitation with the person who became addicted to drugs and is trying one more time to come ‘clean’; some will make home visits, work in dialysis centers or be at your school, but no matter where they work or what they do, there will be ethical situations that arise.”

She noted that in each of these situations, there are differences that must be considered, but the essence of respect to each person is important.

“Of course, we cannot talk about heart without talking about passion. This is the one thing that keeps us going. If you want to educate well, you have to be excited. When students see passion and enthusiasm, they have a desire to learn more,” she said. “I want to change the world, but I can only change my small circle, however my circumference becomes larger when I ignite my students. We need our students to go out and change the world and to do this they need passion about what they do. Passion is contagious and when we are passionate, they will see it, feel it and want it.”

Young noted that she has had the privilege of leading medical mission trips to South Africa, Peru, Russia and her favorite place, the Dominican Republic.

“It is here that education becomes action. As students go on these trips, the realistic tools are life itself. Not only do we have medical clinics, caring for the physical and mental health of these patients, but we have the opportunity to share Christ, caring for their spiritual health also,” she said. “While I enjoy practicing nursing and educating nurses, I see what I do as my calling from God. It is my chance to share my HEART with students and others that come within my realm of influence.”

Young ended the address with a comment that summarizes her teaching philosophy.

“At the College of Nursing on the soffit of the stairs are the ICARE values -- Integrity, Caring, Accountability, Respect and Excellence,” she said. “As I was thinking about my teaching philosophy, I realized that these values are the core of that philosophy. At the college we talk about the values with the students constantly and I see them as an integral part of who we want our students to be, as well as a part of the educator I hope that I exemplify. Thank you for honoring me with this award, I am humbled that you consider me worthy.”

Young, who also serves as interim director of AU’s Doctorate of Nursing Program as well as director of the Simulation Center, received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Pensacola Christian College, her Master of Science in Nursing at Ohio State University and her Doctor of Nursing Practice at Duquesne University. Her areas of expertise include teaching simulation to students and training faculty in educational strategies in simulation. 

She is an Advanced Practice Nurse with expertise in cardiology. Her areas of research include cultural care use of simulation to advance nursing education and practice. She was recently elected as president to the board of Partners in Christ. Dr. Young was one of the founding partners in the hypertension clinic established in Juan Tomas, Dominican Republic, maintaining ongoing care for over 300 patients.

The Taylor Teaching Award Committee, whose purpose is to select the award recipient, reviews submitted materials of faculty members who are nominated by students, faculty or department chairs. The committee, comprised of former Taylor Award winners, also observed classroom sessions of those who were nominated.

All full-time faculty with a minimum of three years of teaching experience at AU are eligible for the award. Recipients of the award cannot repeat for three years and no faculty member may win the award more than twice. The recipients receive a medal to be worn with academic regalia and a stipend.

Ashland University, ranked in the top tier of colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2017, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) deeply values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.                                                                                ###