2014 Distinguished Faculty Award recipient announced

April 10th, 2014


After a missed phone call and an email telling her that The Father Niehoff wanted to talk, Dr. Jacqueline Schmidt, from the Tim Russert Department of Communications and Theater Arts and interim director of the Entrepreneurship Minor Program, received the news that she will receive John Carroll University’s 2014 Distinguished Faculty Award.  This award is given to one faculty member each year who has demonstrated “excellence in the classroom and made a significant and balanced contribution to scholarship, service and the spirit of Jesuit education.”


Schmidt has been a professor at John Carroll University for 41 years.  She received her undergraduate degree at Macalester College in Minnesota and received her master’s and doctorate degrees at the University of Iowa.  From there, she moved to Colorado and taught middle school at Divine Redeemer Catholic School in Colorado Springs, CO.  Her husband then accepted a job in Cleveland, which brought Dr. Schmidt to JCU.


Currently at John Carroll, Schmidt teaches interpersonal communication, organizational communication, and interviewing.  She also directs the entrepreneurship minor, teaches the capstone course with Dr. Bonda, and teaches Accounting and Finance for entrepreneurs.


Schmidt’s love of teaching is very visible.  She says, “I love the student interaction…I learn a lot from my students, from the questions they ask, and the kinds of issues they bring up in class.  In the Entrepreneurship Program, I learn a lot from the kinds of projects my students develop and the creativity they show.”  Schmidt’s love of John Carroll is also very noticeable.  She states, “What I like most about John Carroll is the community of students, colleagues, staff and alumni.  I think that this is a place that really encourages people and empowers them.  The people here are very caring people and very dedicated, which inspires me.”

dr. schmidt

Because of her love of teaching and her love of John Carroll, Schmidt has been able to excel in her classroom.  She is very passionate about teaching, which is expressed through her work.  According to a freshman communications student, Ciara Crossey said, “Dr. Schmidt is passionate about her job and works diligently to engage and interest her students.  I am thankful that I was able to take one of her classes this year…”


Freshman Olivia Criss, a student in the Entrepreneurship Program states, “What makes the entrepreneurship program such a success is Dr. Schmidt’s willingness to stop whatever she is doing in order to help her students.  When my mom went to Carroll, she raved about how great of a professor Dr. Schmidt was, and now I feel very lucky to have her, too.”


Junior Rachel Distler has taken classes from Dr. Schmidt in both communications and entrepreneurship.  Distler says, “Dr. Schmidt is the kind of professor and advisor that puts all of who she is into her work and her students. She is constantly working on new research and when she isn’t, she is thinking up new questions to test. She also makes herself available for her students and advisee’s non-stop…She is a fun loving person who loves to talk to you…Throughout my time at JCU, Dr. Schmidt has been a huge support for me. She not only supported me through academics, but other aspects of my life, as well…I cannot think of a faculty member that better deserves the award.”


Schmidt is also very well liked amongst her colleagues.  Secretary of the Tim Russert Department of Communications and Theatre Arts, Lu Johnson says, “Dr. Schmidt is very helpful.  She is always upbeat and has a positive attitude.  She is outgoing and happy.  Dr. Schmidt always has a smile on her face, and we all love her.”


When Schmidt heard she had won the award, she was both very surprised and very happy with the news.  Schmidt says “I realize the people who have won [the award] before me, and I know them and respect them.  I am humbled to be a part of that group.  It is very nice to be included in such an outstanding group of people.”


Schmidt stressed how honored and thankful she is to receive this award, “I know the kinds of things the committee is looking for in the award [winner], and it is very nice to think that the committee and the people who wrote for me all felt that I [should] receive this award,” said Schmidt, “It means a lot to me, it really does.”