Dr. Jennifer Fairchild, a professor in the School of Communication at EKU, received two awards at the Kentucky Communication Association (KCA) annual conference in September 2021.
Fairchild received the Excellence in the Art of Teaching Award, which recognizes pedagogy and curriculum development as well as an educator who is devoted to bettering students and assisting them achieve academic and/or professional goals.
“I was so surprised and honored to receive the awards,” Fairchild said. “It means so much to me that my colleagues nominated me for these awards, and that my former and current students endorsed my application.”
EKU communication colleagues nominated Fairchild for the award, noting her dedication to improving pedagogy and developing other faculty. Fairchild also received the Undergraduate Mentor Award, which recognizes the important role faculty members play in supporting undergraduates’ academic, personal and professional growth through meaningful interactions.
Fairchild’s teaching philosophy is to treat students with the same respect she would want shown to her. She also strives to view her students as whole individuals with outside lives and demands, finding meaningful ways to engage students with course content while respecting their busy schedules.
Fairchild has a passion for education and teaches a wide variety of courses both online and on-campus, including interpersonal communication, health communication, communication, leadership and change, intercultural communication, and gender and communication. She sites advice from her grandfather as an important motivating factor behind that passion.
“My favorite piece of advice came from my grandfather: “Learn as much as you can. Your education is one thing that nobody can take away from you.”
A faculty member at EKU since August 2007, Fairchild is known for the individualized attention she gives her students. She received the Excellence in Online Teaching Award and the Most Outstanding Distinguished Educational Leader Award from EKU, both of which are student-nominated awards.
The Kentucky Communication Association (KCA) was established in 1931 for the promotion of effective teaching, research, and practice in the artistic, humanistic, and scientific principles of communication. KCA is a not-for-profit organization that comprises communication faculty, students, and professionals who are committed to studying, improving, and applying the principles of communication within the Commonwealth of Kentucky.