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Laura Wagner

Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, 2021

Laura Wagner, professor of psychology, has received the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, which annually recognizes up to 10 faculty for their teaching excellence. Awardees are nominated by students, faculty and alumni and are chosen by a committee of students, previous recipients and alumni.

Wagner consistently sets high expectations for her students and challenges them in ways that enable them to learn and grow.

“Anytime you disappoint (Dr. Wagner), it's always on you,” one of her undergraduate students wrote. “The first time you miss expectations is always the last time because you know she deserves better. That's the overwhelming consensus from every student I've talked to from this class. Laura works so hard for us that we end up falling a bit in love with her, her methods, her teaching and her work. I've never had an instructor quite like her, and I don't know anyone else who has, either.”

Wagner studies how children acquire language, and in particular, how they learn about meaning. She also directs the Language Sciences Research Lab at the Columbus Center of Science and Industry (COSI), where she collects data and helps educate the public about language and linguistics.

“One of (Dr. Wagner’s) greatest priorities for her students is helping them grow in whatever way she can,” the student wrote. “(She) is easy to talk to and actually personally invested in her students, and she does everything she can to help them succeed. I cannot stress enough how exceptional Dr. Wagner is as a teacher, mentor and researcher.”

Wagner and other recipients will receive a $5,000 honorarium, as well as an increase of $1,200 to their base salary. Awardees are also inducted into Ohio State’s Academy of Teaching.