On Honors Day every year the College recognizes and rewards two members of the Kenyon faculty for exemplary teaching informed by creative scholarship. The Senior Award is given to a tenured­-level faculty member who has been teaching at Kenyon for at least 10 years, and the Junior Award is for either a tenured or tenure-­track faculty member who is in their first 10 years at Kenyon. The awards, which carry $5,000 stipends, are intended to promote excellence by providing increased visibility for the College’s most talented teacher­-scholars. Get to know this year’s winners, below. 

Kerry Rouhier


Rouhier joined the Kenyon faculty in 2010 and teaches introductory-level courses as well as advanced courses related to biochemistry.

Hometown: I grew up in Lupton, Michigan, but now call Mount Vernon, Ohio home. 

Describe yourself in a sentence: I am a plant biochemist who is fascinated with metabolic pathways and the study of teaching and learning. 

How did it feel to hear your name called during Honors Day? I was so surprised! When I started at Kenyon, I was not what one would call an “excellent teacher” but my students and colleagues were patient with my growth and learning as I worked to improve with each class and each semester. It feels great to have the hard work recognized in this way. 

Teaching philosophy:  When designing courses, I try to incorporate interesting content, an engaging structure, assignments that foster curiosity, and  assessments that are reflective and meaningful to the students. 

Anything else? Our dog Lewis (a Kenyon student favorite) is named after Gilbert N. Lewis, a chemist known for discovering many things we still teach today.

Leah Dickens


Dickens joined the Kenyon faculty in 2017 and teaches courses in social psychology and positive psychology — the psychology of “the good life.”

Hometown: Sharon, Massachusetts

Describe yourself in one sentence: I’m a curious thinker who loves learning about people, encountering new plants and trying to be mindful of good things. 

How did it feel to hear your name called during Honors Day? I was so surprised! Hearing the applause made me tear up a little bit. I felt so honored and appreciated.

Something you’ve learned from your students: I am constantly learning how much I still have to learn. They’ll bring up related topics from sociology, anthropology or English in our class and I take notes on all the things I should investigate, and all the connections there are to make.

Best advice you’ve received: It’s actually my favorite saying: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” (Winston Churchill) 

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