Mrs. A.B. Dolly Cohen Award for Excellence in Teaching



Each year, in September, the Barbour and Cohen University Committee will distribute information to all deans and heads of academic units; to students via government, student groups, and news media; and to alumni via news media. The Mrs. A.B. "Dolly" Cohen Award focuses on teaching excellence. The Barbour Award focuses on mentoring and good faculty-student relations. Nominees must be in at least the seventh year of full-time teaching at the University of Cincinnati.

Nominations: Step 1

Nominations may come only from students and alumni and must not be solicited by faculty or administrators. Nominations must be submitted to the Chair of the University of Cincinnati Barbour and Cohen Awards Committee via online form by 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020 (please use browser such as Google Chrome; the form does not work with Firefox).  Nominations sent via email, postal mail, fax or voice-mail will not be accepted. Nominations letters need to be limited to no more than one page in PDF format. An electronic dossier (see below in Step 3 and 4) will be required by Nov. 23 and nominees, once their eligibility is confirmed, will be informed by the Office of the President of the requirement for an electronic dossier to be compiled and submitted. 


Department Action: Step 2

As soon as the nominations are received, a process should be initiated to collect and organize supporting data in the form of an electronic dossier. The nominee(s) may participate in this process. Students shall be part of this process also.

The candidate should be involved in any way he or she deems necessary, such as selecting the college or departmental  committee when used, supplying an updated vita, a list of students with whom the candidate has interacted, and course evaluations in the candidate's possession.

A nominee may be a candidate for only one award. If a person is nominated for both the Barbour Award and the Cohen Awards, the nominee must choose which award for which he/she/they wishes to be considered.

Electronic Dossier Format: Step 3

PLEASE NOTE that nominee must be in at least the seventh year of full-time teaching at the University of Cincinnati as a (non-administrative) faculty member. Without this requirement no dossier should be submitted.


The electronic dossier, which must be submitted electronically in a single PDF format using the online submission form below, should consist of the following documentation in the order indicated:

  1. the department head and/or college dean's cover letter
  2. the student/alumnus(a) nominating letter(s)/form(s)
  3. In addition to items 1 and 2, no more than 25 numbered pages containing:
    • a 1- to 3-page reflection, written by the nominee, that describes and illustrates the nominee's excellence in teaching (this should include the nominee's philosophy of teaching)
    • an abbreviated personal vita, stating past and current faculty status not to exceed 3 pages
    • a list (not necessarily complete) of courses taught at UC.
    • a summary of numerical and/or written class evaluations (required for the Cohen Award)
    • quotations (not paraphrases) from student letters/comments with examples of at least 3 and not more than 5 complete letters
    • quotations (not paraphrases) from peer letters/comments with examples of at least 3 and not more than 5 complete letters
    • any additional evidence felt important, e.g. involvement with students outside of class or with student groups, publications related to teaching, teaching artifacts (an original syllabus, innovative assignments, etc.)
  4. An Appendix

All documents from which quotations are taken must be included in their entirety as the electronic appendix. The appendix does not count in the 25-page limit on the electronic dossier. Since the dossier itself is the primary basis for the evaluation of a nominee's qualifications, the appendix serves only as a supplement. The committee strongly suggests that nominees avoid the temptation to inflate the dossier by placing either redundant or extraneous materials in the appendix. There is no relationship between the size of the appendix and winning an award. Copies of books and offprints of articles should be not included in the dossier. The evaluation Committee is under no obligation to consider appended materials.

Please Note

  1. The candidate should be very clear about the differing criteria for each award and make certain that the folder adequately states and reflects the award for which it is submitted.
  2. The 25 pages referred to in #3 above must be numbered.
  3. Dates should be included on letters whenever possible.
  4. Evaluations from students and peers outside the nominee's area are useful.
  5. The criteria and dossier format are firm.  All items for the dossier must be assembled into one complete submission per nominee, including all of the information listed above.

Electronic Dossier Submission: Step 4

The electronic dossiers should be submitted by the department via the online dossier submission form. The dean should be informed of the departmental action. Dossiers must reach the Barbour-Cohen Committee by 11:59 p.m. Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. If guidelines are not followed the dossier will not be considered.


Additional Considerations

  • By tradition, individuals who have previously won these awards have been considered ineligible to win the same award a second time.
  • Having won one of the awards does not preclude winning the other award.
  • Individuals who were nominated in the past, but did not win, may be nominated again, but are encouraged to update their files.  (Nominations from previous years are not automatically carried over in the next year without new nominations.)
  • Confidentiality should be observed at all stages; names of nominees sent to the Barbour-Cohen Committee should not be publicly divulged.

Suggested Criteria for the Awards

Although there are no absolute criteria as to what constitutes excellence in teaching, the following list is suggested.


Qualities apt to be exhibited by a Cohen awardee:  

  1. Is committed to teaching and regards it as a primary function of the university
  2. Has successfully taught a variety of courses
  3. Demonstrates creative approaches to teaching
  4. Shows respect for diversity of opinions and experiences of students
  5. Demonstrates sensitivity to individual differences and multicultural needs of students
  6. Maintains high but attainable standards of performance
  7. Stimulates independent work by students that leads them to be creative, self-directed learners
  8. Establishes a classroom atmosphere that fosters self-confidence, a positive self-concept, and mutual respect.

Deadlines - Summary

Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020 Distribution of information on the award
Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020 (by 11:59 p.m.) Emailed Nominations due to online submission form, President's Office
Monday, Nov. 23, 2020 (by 11:59 p.m.)  Completed Electronic Dossiers  due to online submission form, President's Office
Friday, Jan. 15, 2021 Names of awardees sent to the President's Office, Chair of the Faculty, and Provost.
Spring 2021 Awards to be presented


The recipient’s selection is subject to a final verification by the Provost confirming the current good standing of the awardee.


If you have questions concerning the awards or the procedures, please contact:

DJ Lowrie, PhD
Barbour-Cohen Awards Selection Committee
Phone: (513) 558-5032