Marketing professor wins William Holmes McGuffey Award

April 2018

Jay Murdock

For the second year in a row, a Farmer School faculty member has won the William Holmes McGuffey Award (formerly called the Effective Educator Award).

Jan Taylor is a senior lecturer in marketing and the director of the Farmer School of Business Honors and Scholars Program.

“I think it's amazing that alumni remember us years later, but I do keep in touch with my former students,” she said. “I don't think I really thought about how valuable it is to my students that I have relationships with students from years ago.”

Since arriving in 1986, Taylor has developed and taught undergraduate, graduate and online courses in marketing principles, honors marketing principles, branding and IMC, entrepreneurship, global marketing, marketing research, consumer behavior, and marketing management.

But she knows that she’s been more than a professor for many of her students.

“I’m kind of a people person, and that must come across in the classroom,” Taylor explained. “Depending upon my age at the time, I'm a surrogate mother, grandmother, therapist, and friend.”

The chair of the marketing department, Dr. Michael McCarthy, said that given Taylor’s focus on her students and their success, he wasn’t surprised that she won the award, but he was surprised that she hadn’t won it before now.

John W. Altman Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship Mark Lacker won the award last year, and agreed with McCarthy’s sentiment.

“She is with her students all the time. She looks at them as people who can make a difference in the world and commits to developing them,” he said. “She's creating opportunities in front of clients that allowed (students) to show off their best skills. So this award is very long overdue. Why she hasn’t won this a decade before is beyond me.”

The William Holmes McGuffey Award annually honors one Miami University faculty or staff member whose impact extends far beyond the traditional parameters of education.

“This is all about personal relationships with students, and the Miami student-faculty culture we have here, and the commitment to teaching and commitment to getting to know our students and helping them find their path and see the possibilities,” Lacker explained. “So to be recognized as someone who has done that well, particularly at Miami where we all do well, is an honor.”

The award, first presented in 1983, was renamed this year for the creator of the McGuffey Readers and one of Miami’s first faculty members.

The Miami University Alumni Association sends a call to alumni via email for submissions each year. In previous years, only alumni who graduated at least five years prior were contacted, but this year it was expanded to all graduates.

Nominations submitted are then reviewed by an internal committee.

Jan Taylor