Office of the Provost

2009 Recipients of the Outstanding Teacher Awards

Dr. Paul Fritz

Dr. Paul Fritz, associate professor of communication. He came to UT in 1980 as an assistant professor and was named associate professor in 1985.

“I took only one class with Dr. Fritz, Interpersonal Communication, yet it had the most impact of any class I took while at The University of Toledo,” one nominator wrote. “In my profession as a police officer, communication is essential. The way I listen and speak with people can either escalate or hopefully de-escalate a situation.” Another noted, “Dr. Fritz teaches his class how to effectively use communication in job situations and in their everyday lives. He does this by sharing real-world experiences and incidents in the workplace and then showing how to deal with those situations.”

“In every class, UT students insist that I answer the question ‘How can we use this course in the real world?’ To answer that question, I need to visualize the communication problems my students endure and design helpful solutions helpful for them,” Fritz said. “The best teacher is he who never forgets what it was like to be a student.”

Dr. Sally Harmych

Dr. Sally Harmych, lecturer in biological sciences. She received her bachelor and doctoral degrees from the University in 1992 and 2000, respectively. In 2003, she began teaching as a visiting assistant professor at her alma mater and was promoted to lecturer in 2006.

“Dr. Harmych deserves this award because she is a teacher who comes to class with a great attitude,” one nominator wrote. “Her lectures engage the students on subjects that would be boring in any other class. She cares that each student fully understands the material that is covered in the course.” Another wrote, “She may not realize it, and, having hundreds of students in one class, may not think she has an impact on anyone. In my other classes — the ones with only 20 students — I do not have the same relaxed, excited, can’t-wait-to-go-to-class ambition that I do when I think of my biology class.”

“This is such an honor and a complete surprise!” Harmych said. “My teaching philosophy has always been that the student comes first. So that even in a classroom of 300 students I try to make sure every student feels like they are a part of the discussion.”

Dr. James Kamm

Dr. James Kamm, professor of engineering technology. He joined the faculty as an assistant professor in 1974 and was promoted to professor in 1994.

“It was clear that he not only strove to teach but to develop students into engineers,” wrote one nominator. Another noted, “He shows a great interest in the students; that they recognize this is highlighted by the number of graduates who stay in touch with him after gaining their degrees.” Another wrote, “Several years after I graduated, I contacted him about becoming a professional engineer. He spent time with me by e-mail, phone and weekends going over materials that I had long given up to the scholastic world.”

“Students have enjoyed me and benefited from me, but I have enjoyed and benefited from them. Their questions are often the source of new research. Sometimes they ask questions that I’ve thought about at times and then given up on. So I take time to think about them again and see if I can go any further now,” Kamm said. “It is a great job that I have that I can pursue problems for no other purpose than that they need an answer. Usually though, if there is resolution, the whole matter will find its way into my courses.”

Dr. Sakui Malakpa

Dr. Sakui Malakpa, professor of early childhood, physical and special education. He joined UT in 1986 as assistant professor, was named associate professor in 1990 and professor in 1998.

“His teaching strategies are fantastic,” one nominator wrote. “He makes learning the most difficult things easy and interesting, and he incorporates everyday life experiences and humor into the course. He is a very compassionate and understanding teacher that inspires me and makes me want to learn.” Another wrote, “Dr. Malakpa is very understanding and willing to work with me. He will take away from his home life to help me understand the material, and he calls from home to make sure that I am where I am supposed to be in the course content.”

“The students truly are my source of energy and joy,” Malakpa said. “No matter what mood I’m in, when I enter the class, I’m alive and animated.”

Last Updated: 6/27/22