Johnson honored with AU’s Taylor Excellence in Teaching Award

03/23/2021 ASHLAND, Ohio -- Dr. Nicholas Johnson, associate professor of Chemistry in the Ashland University College of Arts and Sciences, is the recipient of AU’s 2021 Taylor Excellence in Teaching Award.

The Taylor Excellence in Teaching Award was endowed by the late Edward and Louaine Taylor as a way of supporting high quality teaching at Ashland University. All full-time faculty with a minimum of three years of teaching experience at AU are eligible for the award. The award committee selects the recipient after reviewing nominations from students, faculty and department chairs. This review also includes observing a class meeting of the finalist for the award. This award is one significant way in which the University recognizes faculty members in an ongoing manner for their commitment and excellent work for students.

Finalists for the award were Patricia Clayburn, clinical assistant professor in the Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences and director Accelerated Nursing Program and Advanced Entry Nursing Program, and Terri Jewett, professional instructor in the Schar College of Education.

Johnson was nominated by AU freshman biology major Maddie Fish, a student in his fall semester General Chemistry class.

“Although it was the most difficult class in terms of content, he taught in a way I had never experienced before,” Fish wrote in her nomination. “He taught in a manner so much different from any educator I have previously had. Not only does he care about his students learning the material, but he also cares about each of his students.

“I could not tell you how many times I heard him ask someone how they are doing or how school is going for them. I knew from the very first day of classes that he was a special educator because he had us fill out a slip of paper about what we would like to achieve with our degree here at AU. This really stuck out to me because he was showing how he took interest in us as people, which speaks volumes in and of itself. I never imagined that I would actually enjoy chemistry in college, but I was very wrong. His was by far my favorite class.

 Johnson received his Bachelor of Arts from Skidmore College and his doctorate from The University of Akron and joined the Ashland faculty in 2015. His area of expertise includes the synthesis of novel inorganic compounds as well as multinuclear NMR techniques and he works with his students on research on the synthesis of inorganic compounds for biomedical applications. 

 “It is wonderful that Ashland University has continued a robust process to carefully consider and then honor the teaching work of faculty members each year. I am very pleased to see that a faculty member who has created ways to help students learn such challenging material (Chemistry) is being recognized for that work,” said Ashland University Provost Dr. Amiel Jarstfer. “It is clear that these experiences for students in his courses show the Accent on the Individual which we all value highly.”

Johnson will be recognized publicly at the Academic Honors Convocation in the spring of 2021 and also will receive a medal to be worn with academic regalia along with a stipend.

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.eduoffers each of its student constituencies The Ashland Promise, including “teaching students how to think, not what to think”. Committed to affordability, the University now offers incoming residential freshman the Tuition Relief Scholarship, as well as a variety of new forms of financial assistance for both new and continuing students. ###