Standout instruction recognized with Teaching Excellence Award
CCAD created the award in 2007 as a way to recognize outstanding faculty members for excellence in teaching in the areas of discipline knowledge, instructional effectiveness, and student focus. Nominations come from alumni, current CCAD students, and faculty, said CCAD’s President, Dr. Melanie Corn, in announcing Youger’s win at an awards ceremony on Monday, April 17.
Youger, who is also Senior Director, Strategy and Insights at WD Partners, has taught at CCAD since 2013.
Tom Gattis, Dean, School of Design Arts, described Youger as a teacher, a mentor, and a leader.
“I think one of John’s greatest attributes is his absolute dedication to his students. He spends an enormous amount of time outside of class working with them. He is one of the rare faculty members who sees how important his mission is. I feel fortunate to have a guy like that on our staff,” Gattis said.
Youger’s support for collaboration among his students was named as one of the qualities that set him apart. One alumnus writing in his support said of Youger, “This teacher set a higher bar for our work and brought us together like a family to work late nights together. This teacher definitely encourages collaboration and by working through the struggles of group work, we all learned how to be better.”
Gattis said Youger “comes with an enormous amount of high-level professional experience and also uber dedication to his students.”
And it’s worth note, he said, that many students opt to take Youger’s Design Methodologies class, a class that looks at the front end of industrial design — the research involved in identifying a problem, a market, and opportunities, as well as users’ wants, needs, and desires to develop a product, service, or experience — more than once. That research “is really the groundwork that’s laid for successful projects. … That they want to take it multiple times speaks to his engagement as a teacher.”
A student nominator said of Youger’s instruction that “the lessons on research, empathy, analysis, strategic thinking, teamwork, leadership, and more, are relevant to many endeavors beyond in-class applications.”
In addition to Design Methodologies, Youger teaches Industrial Design Studio and Advanced Consumer Insights & Synthesis. Youger has 20 years of professional experience in Industrial Design prior to coming to CCAD, including work at Fitch, Lextant, Resource, and as an independent consultant. His professional experience areas include: product development, brand strategy, shopper insights, packaging and consumer goods, retail design and customer experience. He has worked such Fortune 100 clients as Microsoft, Starbucks, Intel, Procter & Gamble, and Home Depot.
Youger earned a B.A. in Industrial Design from The Ohio State University in 1997.
To be eligible for the Teaching Excellence Award, nominees must be currently teaching for CCAD and have more than six semesters of service to the College. Previous recipients are ineligible for three years following the award.