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Distinguished University Lecturer


Appointment to the rank of a Distinguished University Lecturer is the highest permanent honor the University of Toledo can bestow on a Lecturer. Those named Distinguished University Lecturer have earned recognition and distinction as educators, advancing student learning, facilitating and supporting student success, and demonstrating a commitment to the University's educational mission. The duration of the appointment as a Distinguished University Lecturer is unlimited and the title may be retained even after a lecturer has retired from the University.

Distinguished University Lecturer Nomination Guidelines
Joseph Hara

HaraJoseph Hara, Th.D.
College of Arts and Letters
Department of Foreign Languages

Dr. Joseph Hara has taught at The University of Toledo since 1987, first as a Japanese instructor and then as a lecturer. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Japanese Program in the Department of Foreign Languages in the College of Arts and Letters, as well as Director of the Japanese Program. Singlehandedly, Dr. Hara developed a minor degree program in Japanese, now the second highest enrolled Japanese program in the state of Ohio, following The Ohio State University. One of his nominators notes that the "quality of students in the Japanese program is met with quality, proven again recently when two UT students placed 1st and 2nd in the state speech contest."Dr. Hara is legendary in the College of Arts and Letters for teaching far more classes each semester than he is contracted to do and offering a significant number of independent studies to ensure that his students complete their course work and their minor degree programs, as well as teaching, advising, and mentoring students in the Asian Studies Program. He is also well known for taking students to Japan each summer for study abroad cultural and language immersion, as well as developing exchange programs with Japanese universities, including Aichi University. His teaching philosophy attests to his commitment: "The Japanese word 'Education'—is the base of my teaching philosophy. This particular word is comprised of two characters: passing knowledge to others and helping them to grow." Dr. Hara received the University Outstanding Teaching Award in 2002. He also serves as liaison for the Japanese Consulate in Detroit and as the President of the Japanese-American Association, and he has received thirteen annual grants from the Japanese government to support the Japanese School of Toledo, which he founded. Hara was appointed a Distinguished University Lecturer in 2017.

Teresa Keefe


Ms. Teresa Keefe
College of Business and Innovation
Department of Information, Operations and Technology Management

Teresa Keefe is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Information Operations and Technology Management in the College of Business and Innovation. Ms Keefe has been teaching at U.T. since 2004, continuously developing new and innovative courses, incorporating new technologies, and providing active learning experiences for her students, including flipped classes and service learning, all contributing to student retention and graduation rates. One of her nominators also comments on the work she has done in building and updating undergraduate programs in information systems, including adding two minors. She is also faculty adviser to the Association for Information Technology Professionals and tirelessly mentors students, including those preparing for internships and for the Ball State Information Systems Case Competition, where they have received at least one prize every year.  In addition to her enviable teaching evaluations, the many nominators, recommenders, and endorsers for this award give her high praise and, and former students, now U.T. graduates working professionally, explain the impact she has had on their lives. Keefe has served on many departmental, college, and university committees and panels, including accreditation, diversity, and faculty development, as well as working in the community, for example, serving on the Board of Directors of the Community Credit Counseling Services and as an unpaid consultant to Owens-Illinois, working with their IT training and development manager and project management office in a variety of roles, including team member for a number of Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt Projects. Keefe was appointed a Distinguished University Lecturer in 2017.

Dr. Susanne Nonekowski

Dr. Susanne NonekowskiNonekowski
College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Department of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry

Dr. Nonekowski has held a variety of teaching positions at the University of Toledo since 2001 and is currently an Associate Lecturer in the Department of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, teaching courses in four different degree programs. As one of her nominators notes, Dr. Nonekowski is "often the earliest adopter of active learning methods such as 'clickers' and Blackboard chat rooms," adding that she "has embraced assessment," winning an Assessment Award in the College in 2014 and mentoring other faculty who are incorporating assessment in their courses. She also received an Innovations in Teaching Award in 2015 to add active learning in one of her courses, and she was nominated for a University Outstanding Teaching Award in 2010.  Dr. Nonekowski's stellar teaching evaluations include multiple versions of student comments such as "Dr. Nonekowski is an amazing teacher"; "By far she was the best instructor I ever had";  "She lectured with enthusiasm"; "It is clear that the instructor really knows her stuff and her passion and understanding for the material had a great impact on my learning"; and "As usual, Dr. N knocked it out of the park as a teacher." Her many letters of support from alumni confirm and add to these accolades. In addition, Dr. Nonekowski has participated in numerous faculty development opportunities, served on many departmental, college and university committees, and actively engaged with the community, for example, receiving the Order of the Spark Award from the Boy Scouts of American, Eastern Shores Council, in 2016. She also served the President of the Northwest Ohio Chapter of the Association of Women in Science in 2016-2017.  Nonekowski was appointed a Distinguished University Lecturer in 2017.

Distinguished University Lecturer Nomination Guidelines

Eligibility: Faculty who hold the rank of Assistant, Associate, or Senior Lecturer 

Deadline for Submissions: February 1, 2018 

Send all nominations and accompanying materials electronically to Ms. Camila Taormina, Executive Assistant to the Provost Office at


1. Candidates may be nominated by faculty, department chairs, or program directors. Self- nominations will not be accepted.

2. Nominations, which should be forwarded by the nominator (not the candidate), must consist of:

a. A cover letter of no more than 500 words from the nominator that summarizes why the candidate should be considered for an appointment as a Distinguished University Lecture

b. Curriculum vitae of the candidate.

c. Statement describing the Teaching Philosophy of the candidate.

d. Evidence of teaching excellence:

i. Summaries of student teaching evaluations.

ii. Summaries of peer evaluations of teaching, if applicable.

iii. Listing of teaching, student service, or student impact awards.

iv. Evidence of creativity, such as development of new courses and/or innovative teaching and/or assessment of student learning methods.

v. Evidence of other exemplary teaching activities.

vi. Evidence of having made a difference in the lives and careers of students.

vii. Participation in professional development workshops, webinars, certificate programs, trainings, and/or disciplinary and teaching conferences and meetings, if applicable.

viii. Committee memberships or offices held in professional and pedagogical organizations, if applicable.

ix. Exemplary community engagement as demonstrated through contributions of professional expertise as an educator to curricular engagement, outreach, or partnership with local, regional/state, national, and/or global communities, if applicable.

x. Evidence of the collaborative exchange of ideas with colleagues and members of the academic community in a common effort to serve the needs of students and the educational goals of the University, if applicable.

Last Updated: 1/17/18