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Three Distinguished University Lecturers named

Three faculty members have been named Distinguished University Lecturers in recognition of their exemplary teaching, supporting student success, and demonstrating their commitment to UT’s educational mission.

The newest Distinguished University Lecturers, who were approved and recognized by the UT Board of Trustees April 16, are Amy O’Donnell of the College of Business and Innovation; Sherry Tripepi in the School of Social Justice in the College of Health and Human Services; and Sara Yaklin of the College of Arts and Letters.

Distinguished University Lecturers, from left, Sara Yaklin, Amy O’Donnell and Sherry Tripepi were recognized during an April 19 awards ceremony.

“It is a privilege to honor these outstanding faculty members who are accomplished in their fields and who are dedicated to sharing their expertise with students,” said Dr. Andrew Hsu, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “Every day, they make a difference in so many lives at this institution and in our community.”

O’Donnell joined the University as a lecturer in the Department of Management in 2004 and was promoted to senior lecturer in 2015.

She has received University and college awards for excellent teaching and dedication to students. O’Donnell has developed new courses and programs, facilitated student success initiatives, and supported the Business Career Programs Office in the College of Business. In addition, she served as faculty advisor to the UT chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity. O’Donnell also has presented at 19 regional conferences.

“I have always felt respected and supported by College of Business and Innovation students, faculty and staff. This appointment as a Distinguished Lecturer at the University level further validates that my efforts are valued and meaningful by our community,” O’Donnell said. “I am humbled and proud.”

Tripepi started working as a clinical social worker in the University Counseling Center in 1997. Ten years later, she was named a visiting assistant professor of social work. In 2010, Tripepi became a lecturer in the Social Work Program and was promoted to associate lecturer in 2013.

She has received teaching, service and student impact awards. Tripepi serves as director of the Social Work Bachelor’s Degree Program, field coordinator, internship supervisor and continuing education coordinator for the UT Social Work Program through the Ohio Board of Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Social Workers. In addition, she developed a new course on social work practice with the LGBTQ population and has helped develop and implement campus-wide training programs — including Safe Place and anti-bullying programs — at area schools.

“I feel very honored and appreciative of this recognition,” Tripepi said. “I feel social work is the best career as it has allowed me to bring my passion to work each day. And for the past 11 years, I have been fortunate to be able to bring this passion to the classroom. I have fantastic students, who I want to thank for allowing me to join them in their professional journey and nurture their passion along the way. I also have such wonderful colleagues and am forever grateful for their support and teamwork.”

Yaklin was named a lecturer in 2001 and was promoted to senior lecturer in 2009. She received a master of arts degree in English language and literature from UT.

She is a founding co-director of the Composition Institute for Teaching Excellence and is a composition instructor and program contributor for the Multicultural Emerging Scholars Summer Bridge Program. Yaklin also was a presenter at the Multicultural Orientation and Resources for Excellence Institute. In addition to mentoring teaching assistants in the English Department, Yaklin participates in the University Common Read Program and is a writing consultant, tutor, editor and mentor at UT, Owens Community College and local organizations. She recently received an Innovations in Teaching Award for a community partner pilot program for scientific and technical report writing students.

“Each day, I am grateful for the opportunity to do what I love in teaching and working with students. I have a dream job,” Yaklin said. “My program director, department chair, college deans, co-director and colleagues all deserve recognition and thanks for making it a dream job. I am deeply appreciative of the University’s honoring of faculty through these awards.”