Sherwood Dodge Shankland Award for Encouragement of Teachers (1996)

1995-1996 Commencement Ceremony Excerpt

I am most pleased to announce that the winner of the Sherwood Dodge Shankland Award for 1996 is associate professor of politics and government, Dr. Joan McLean.

Dr. McLean holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida, and a master’s degree and the Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. During the decade-and-a-half between her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, professor McLean worked in the real world of politics in a variety of roles that included service as political director of the National Women’s Political Caucus and deputy vice chair of the Democratic National Committee. She was also a Carter delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1976 and worked on the Carter-Mondale campaign advance staff that year; and she worked as political advisor to congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro in the 1984 vice presidential race and was a member of the convention staff at the 1988 Democratic National Convention. After some part-time teaching at OSU and Wittenberg, she came to OWU in 1990 and was promoted to associate professor just this year.

Professor McLean has published articles in journals and books on women’s issues and interest groups, and she is currently working on a documentary on Mildred Jeffrey, a political activist and leading figure for 60 years in the labor, civil rights, and women’s movements.

Dr. McLean is, according to her students, and again in their words: “highly  informed,” “challenging,” “inspiring,” “witty,” “friendly,” and “thorough.” She has “vast political knowledge” and “a great sense of humor.” One student said: “Her command of the subject matter is superb, yet at no time will you feel afraid to ask a question or for additional help.” She “uses a variety of teaching techniques to keep students interested;” she is “receptive to new ideas and criticism;” and “She shows genuine concern and respect for all students.” As many students put it: “Professor McLean is very personable, students love her; she is so very enthusiastic and tremendously knowledgeable that anyone would enjoy being a student in her classes.” Others were more brief but just as definite: “A great asset to OWU,” “She is the best,” or my personal favorite among the many student statements: “Dr. McLean rocks.”

Enough said!