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Dr. Jennifer Koehl Presented Thoburn Excellence in Teaching Award

Public Relations
Posted: Friday Nov 15, 2013

Nov. 15, 2013

Dr. Jennifer L. Koehl, associate professor of biology at Saint Vincent College, was presented with the Thoburn Excellence in Teaching Award at the annual Founders’ Day Honors Convocation in the Basilica on Nov. 14 in recognition of her excellence in teaching, dedicated service to students and her commitment to the Benedictine values of Saint Vincent College.

The Thoburn Award is made possible by a gift from the late Thomas W. Thoburn, Jr. and Tina Thoburn, D.Ed., Ligonier educators and philanthropists.

“Nominations for this award are made by Saint Vincent College alumni five to seven after graduation,” commented Dr. John Smetanka, vice president for academic affairs, who announced the award. “Alumni are invited to name one member of the faculty who has made a significant impact on them through their teaching and personal interactions. Twenty-two different faculty received nominations this year, and several had multiple nominations. This provides a clear indication of the long-lasting impact that our faculty have on our students. Today we recognize Dr. Koehl for the profound impact she has on her students both in the classroom, the laboratory and through advising and mentoring.”

Dr. Koehl earned a bachelor of arts degree in biology with a minor in English literature from Lycoming College, a master of science degree in biology from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in biological sciences, microbiology and genetics from Illinois State University.

Dr. Koehl has been a member of the faculty of Saint Vincent College since 2002. She received the Quentin Shaut Faculty Award in 2005, recognizing her as an outstanding junior faculty member.

Dr. Koehl’s research is in the area of microbiology. She and her research students – the Koehl Staph – work to better understand the bacteria that are encountered every day.

Dr. Koehl is a leader on the faculty, currently serving on the rank and tenure committee. She has also served on the faculty committee for the design and construction of the Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion, educational policies committee and the pre-professional health sciences committee.

The recipient of research grants, her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals several times. She has worked with numerous biology majors in their senior research and many of them have made presentations at professional conferences.

She has been an active participant in the Saint Vincent College Relay for Life team.

A member and president of the Allegheny Branch of the American Society for Microbiology, she recently served as the chairperson and campus host for the group’s annual fall meeting and conference.

Daughter of Daryl and Johanna Schmidt of Fair Oaks, Dr. Koehl resides in Greensburg with her husband, Andrew. They have a daughter, Heidi Sue, 3.


Photo: Dr. Jennifer Koehl, center, was presented with the Thoburn Excellence in Teaching Award at the Saint Vincent College Founders’ Day Honors Convocation on Nov. 14 in the Basilica by Br. Norman W. Hipps, O.S.B., president, left, and Dr. John Smetanka, vice president for academic affairs and academic dean, right. 


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