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Robert James Ward

Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, 2021

Robert James Ward, associate professor in the School of Music, 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.

Ward is committed to creating meaningful experiences that provide life lessons his students can apply throughout their journeys after graduation. He currently serves as director of Choral Studies at Ohio State, where he conducts the Men’s Glee Club and University Chorus. He also teaches courses in conducting and choral literature and provides lifelong learning opportunities through the Men’s Glee Club at Ohio State Alumni Society.

“I joined the Men’s Glee Club at Ohio State with the intent of learning to be a better musician,” a former student wrote. “I left a better student, person and citizen of our shared world. Meaningful experiences do not manifest by chance, but by virtue of intentional work. Dr. Robert J. Ward, without question, rose above all expectations to create, and to continue to create, that meaningful experience.”

“Oftentimes, you would consider if Dr. Ward was truly an instructor of music; a music teacher who taught life lessons along the way,” the former student wrote. “On the contrary, Dr. Ward is a teacher of life who used music as the vehicle to deliver his lessons of life; he was a master gardener teaching us how to plant seeds in the lives of others.”

Ward 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.

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