Ashland University's Dr. Christopher Burkett Named Winner of Taylor Teaching Award

4/15/11 ASHLAND, OH -- Dr. Christopher Burkett, assistant professor of political science at Ashland University, has been selected as this year's winner of the Edward and Louaine Taylor Excellence in Teaching Award.

The Edward and Louaine Taylor Excellence in Teaching Award was established in 1997 by Mr. and Mrs. Taylor and their children. Throughout their lives, the entire Taylor family has appreciated the importance of excellent teaching and their desire is that the establishment of this award will continue to inspire and reward excellence in teaching at Ashland University.

Burkett is a 1996 graduate of Ashland University and was valedictorian of his class. He earned a master's degree in politics from the University of Dallas and a Ph.D. in politics from the University of Dallas' Institute of Philosophic Studies.

Dr. Burkett states that his teaching philosophy is based on the premise that every student who wants to learn can learn. This does not mean that he makes his courses easy, rather he expects students to rise intellectually while acquiring the ability to think deeply and critically.

According to Dr. David Foster, chair of the history and political science department, Burkett is a passionate teacher who cares deeply about his students' learning and challenges them to accomplish things beyond what they think is possible.

Dr. Foster indicates that in the fall of 2010, every single one of Burkett's students in all of his courses gave him a perfect score on the assessment item that relates to the overall effectiveness of the instructor. And given that Burkett teaches both majors and non-majors, and both beginning and advanced courses, this score becomes more remarkable.

All full-time faculty members may be nominated for this award by their students, peers and/or their department chairs. Selected faculty nominees prepare and present a philosophical statement on their teaching, all of their teaching evaluations, a letter of support from their nominator, and chair.

A review committee consisting of former Taylor Teaching Award winners selects three finalists to have their live teaching assessed and this group of former Taylor Award winners makes the final selection. This year's finalists included Dr. Jackie Owens, assistant professor of nursing, and Dr. John Moser, associate professor of history and political science.

Ashland University (www.ashland.edu<http://www.ashland.edu>) is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University 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.