Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Faculty member Barbara Mahaffey recognized as Presidential Teacher Award finalist

Barbara Mahaffey is shown with Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis as well as Provost and Executive Vice President Pam Benoit during a recent ceremony on the Athens campus.

Chillicothe Campus faculty member Barbara Mahaffey was recognized as an Ohio University Presidential Teacher Award finalist during a recent ceremony in the Baker Center on the Athens campus.

A link to a story about the award is available in Compass, the university’s online newsletter, at http://www.ohio.edu/compass/stories/14-15/9/presidential_teacher_awards_2014.cfm.

Mahaffey is an associate professor and coordinator of the OU-C Human Services Technology program. Most of all, she is a teacher and mentor who has her students’ best interests at heart. Appropriately, this award is a student-centered endeavor.

Mahaffey said that her greatest satisfaction in the classroom is when students realize how they can make a difference.

“What is amazing is that this award was originated by the recommendation of students. That kind of recognition is the greatest compliment any faculty member could receive,” she said. “Teaching, to me, is the equivalent of ‘paying it forward.’ It is all about that ‘Ah-ha’ moment when students realize how they can help people,” she said.

“The greatest satisfaction is seeing students learn how they can use their education to help people, and then seeing them go out and help others in their careers. It is very gratifying to see them go on, get jobs and know what they are doing in their professions.”

Mahaffey is energized by students on the Chillicothe Campus.

“As the provost said at the awards ceremony, at OU-C, we tend to work with the ‘new traditionals,’ who are people who, whether they went directly from high school to college or took some time off to work and raise a family, are willing to work hard to overcome challenges and get somewhere.”

As Janice Overmyer points out, students appreciate Mahaffey’s caring attitude and the impact she makes on their lives. “She is a great teacher and cares for her students deeply. She is also really proud of the tradition that the 'Trick or Treat Extravaganza' has become. She goes out of her way to make sure that her students succeed. If any students take time off of school, she makes a point of following up on them so they don't get lost in the cracks of life.”

The annual Trick or Treat Extravaganza, which is spearheaded by the Human Services Association, has become a major campus-community event.

Mahaffey has previously been recognized as an Education Hero by the local chapter of the Red Cross. Mahaffey was recognized for her countless hours of volunteering and community service. As a professor at Ohio University-Chillicothe, she teaches her Human Service Technology students to serve the community by her example.

She is also a clinical counselor, with more than 30 years of professional experience and has earned supervising counselor designation.

Mahaffey earned her bachelor’s degree in communication and her master’s degree in education in community counseling from Ohio University, taking courses at OU-C, and her Ph.D. in education with a major in counselor education from the Ohio State University. Mahaffey’s specialty is marriage, couples and family counseling. She joined the OU-C faculty in June 2005.

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