Dr. Benjamin L. McKean Wins Outstanding Teaching Award

April 16, 2021

Dr. Benjamin L. McKean Wins Outstanding Teaching Award


Recently, Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. Benjamin L. McKean was awarded the 2020-2021 Outstanding Teaching Award (OTA) from the Ohio State College of Arts and Sciences. The Outstanding Teaching Award recognizes a College of Arts and Sciences faculty member for excellence in teaching. This award is unique in that the entire award process is administered by the College of Arts and Sciences Student Council (ASCSC). This year, there were more than 140 nominations reviewed by members of the College of Arts and Sciences Student Council. 

McKean is a political theorist whose research concerns global justice, populism and the relationship between theory and practice. He was recognized for his enthusiasm for teaching, his attentiveness to students and their interests, and his ability to foster participation and collaborative thinking. Dr. McKean teaches a variety of different classes within the Department of Political Science, including Political Science 3460: Global Justice and Political Science 2400H: Honors Introduction to Political Theory, International Studies 2800: Introduction to Peace Studies, Political Science 5414: Liberalism, Totalitarianism, and Empire: 20th Century Political Thought. He has also taught Political Science 4894H: Honors Seminar in Political Theory (which covered “The Politics of Evil”) and Political Science 7499: Topics in Political Theory (a graduate level version of the Global Justice course). 

“Professor McKean was always interactive with his students,” one of his students wrote. “(He) always made sure his class was a positive and safe environment for every student. I learned a lot from him, and I appreciate how he always wished the best for his students.” Another student wrote, "Not only is Professor McKean very clearly passionate about the topics he teaches, but he has a clear understanding of the situations of students,” another of his students wrote. “He is thoughtful and takes constructive suggestions from his students.” On winning the award, Dr. McKean said “This would be a wonderful award to receive anytime, but it’s particularly meaningful to me to be recognized this year. I know how many obstacles students are facing right now and it’s really gratifying to think that I’ve been able to help folks succeed in learning despite the circumstances.”

The Department of Political Science would like to congratulate Dr. McKean on receiving this prestigious award and thank him for his dedication to our students!