Cincy Magazine’s Outstanding Educators Class of 2015 features exceptional professors who were among the many nominations we received from students and colleagues. The winners were singled out for a variety of traits that ranged from scholarship and spending extra time with students to innovation in the classroom and research.

And The Winners Are...

James Brock
Economics, Farmer School of Business, Miami University

Philip Brown
Theology, God’s Bible School & College

Anne Busse
Business Administration, Marketing, Thomas More College

Chiou Chen
Electrical & Computer Engineering, Miami University

Tom Dutton
Architecture, Miami University

Beth Anne Herrin
Fashion Design, College of Design, Art and Planning, University of Cincinnati

Amy Howton
Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies, University of Cincinnati

Rajan Kamath
Business Management, Lindner College of Business, University of Cincinnati

Nanzeen Kane
Sociology, Mount St. Joseph University

Amanda Lynch
Health Promotion & Education, University of Cincinnati

Alan Rafferty
Cello Performance, College Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati

Andrew Rasmussen
Biology, Mount St. Joseph University

Amy Richardson
Mathematics, Cincinnati State Technical & Community College

Peggy Rolfsen
Biology, Health & Public Safety, Cincinnati State Technical & Community College

Judy Rudokas
Nursing, Galen College of Nursing

Michael Smith
Digital Photography, Art Institute of Ohio - Cincinnati

Christopher Swoboda
Educational Studies, University of Cincinnati

Yoshi Tomoyasu
Biology, Miami University

Laura Toomb
Communication, Sinclair College

Judy Walsh
Culinary Arts, Art Institute of Ohio - Cincinnati

Leah Wasburn-Moses
Special Education, Miami University

Melissa Willmarth-Stec
Nursing, University of Cincinnati College of Nursing


Leah Wasburn-Moses
Miami University, Special Education

Leah Wasburn-Moses is an associate professor of educational psychology at Miami University. Much of her research focuses on special educators’ preparation for their jobs. As the author or co-author of over 30 journal articles, Wasburn-Moses is dedicated to improving mentorship of special educators.

“Leah is an excellent teacher and does significant mentoring of students,” writes nominator Doris Bergen, co-chair of the Miami University Department of Educational Psychology.

Dr. Wasburn-Moses has been at Miami University since 2005, and has since served in and initiated several programs, including the Miami Connections Project.

This program, which is a collaboration with Butler Tech, provides teacher candidates with hands-on preparation to reach at-risk youth. Teacher candidates work with ninth and 10th graders, and the program hosts approximately 100 tutors each semester.

“What I want to communicate to my students most is called the ‘sense of urgency,’” says Wasburn-Moses. “Every minutes needs to count with our youth.”

Dr. Wasburn-Moses is a graduate of Purdue University and Michigan State University, with undergraduate degrees in special education and political science, and graduate degrees in educational studies.

-Maggie Heath



Christopher Swoboda
University of Cincinnati, Educational Studies

Christopher Swoboda has been an assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati for just under four years. But in that short amount of time, he’s had a big impact on his students.

“Dr. Swoboda has definitely challenged me,” writes doctoral candidate and nominator Nikki Zaidi. “His teaching and mentorship [have] helped me become stronger in my field.”

Dr. Swoboda is the program coordinator for the Quantitative and Mixed Methods Research Methodologies concentration of Educational Studies. He specifically enjoys teaching statistics, because it presents a rewarding challenge.

“There is often a subset of students who have math anxiety,” he says. “I find that if you push these students in just the right balance of challenge, feedback and support, it brings out that student’s incredible perseverance.”

Swoboda says that he feels especially at home at UC.

“We have amazing teachers and educational leaders,” he says. “It is critical that we provide students [with] the best opportunity to succeed.”




Beth Anne Herrin
College of Design, Art and Planning, University of Cincinnati, Fashion Design

Assistant Professor Beth Anne Herrin serves as more than an educator, and she goes above and beyond to be both a mentor and an invaluable helper to her students at the University of Cincinnati.

“She is my advisor for Professional Practice, and she does everything possible to get myself and my classmates placed at a job,” says Kristina Nguyen, a University of Cincinnati student. “We have about 80 students in our graduating class and this last co-op term she was able to get all of us placed but one.”

An alum of the College of Design, Art and Planning (DAAP) at the University of Cincinnati, Professor Herrin received her bachelor of science in fashion design in 1981. She innovated and built design teams using the co-op program and the talent resources at the college of design at DAAP.

Her students’ minds are put at ease by working tirelessly to guide them through the co-op process.

“She works non-stop to make sure that we all have a job for co-op and is there to guide us through it all,” says Nguyen.

- Heather King



E. Anne Busse
Thomas More College, Business Administration, Marketing

Dr. Anne Busse loves giving her students at Thomas Moore College hands-on experience, like casework for her seniors or taking some of her students to the Procter & Gamble Annual Shareholders meeting. “I like watching the kids grow,” says Busse. “It’s fun to see a student who you know when they’re a sophomore and then see them again as a senior, and to see how they’ve developed and just kind of know that you were part of that; that’s kind of fun.”

Busse started at Thomas Moore College as an adjunct in 1994, becoming full time in 2008. She is now chair of the Department of Business Administration as well as an associate professor teaching all levels of students. Busse spent over 15 years in the consumer packaged goods industry before her teaching career began.

In 2005, Busse became involved with the Brighton Center in Newport, Ky. She is currently chair of the board of directors for the Center. Busse is married with an adult son.

– Samantha Scheifele



Rajan Kamath
Lindner College of Business, University of Cincinnati, Business Management

Teaching wasn’t Rajan Kamath’s first job.

Starting out as an engineer, Dr. Kamath worked in the field for several years before turning to instruction, what he calls his “ultimate goal.”

Dr. Kamath is an associate professor of management at the University of Cincinnati. He attributes his interest in the field to its cross-disciplinary value.

“Everybody on the planet needs to know about management,” he says. “You have to have management skills. Managers probably create the most value.”

And it’s not just the field he loves, but teaching itself. When you speak to a student, he says, “you’re preparing that person for a lifetime.”

Kamath sees teaching as an opportunity to share his thinking and to make a difference.