Published on June 25, 2014  
Rahn teaching geography students

Samford University geography professor Jennifer Rahn is one of only four U.S. educators honored with the 2014 Higher Education Distinguished Teaching Award from the National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE). 

The award honors teaching skills, leadership, professional development accomplishments, involvement in student activities and development of innovative teaching materials and strategies.

Samford Geography Department chair Jennifer Speights-Binet said Rahn’s willingness and ability to captivate her students is especially impressive. "Dr. Rahn is one of the most enthusiastic and innovative teachers I know,” Speights-Binet said. “She excels at hands-on and lab-based instruction, and for physical geography, that style of teaching is vital.”

“I love what I teach and love my subject matter – the Earth, including the oceans,” said Rahn, who coordinates Samford’s new interdisciplinary environmental studies minor and each January leads students in a field course on the Dutch Caribbean island of Saba. That longstanding coastal and marine focus extends to her current work on coral reef nurseries, a one-on-one project with an undergraduate student participating in the Howard College of Arts and Sciences ASPIRE research program.

“It is an exciting time to be a geoscientist,” Rahn said. “There is always new research redefining our understanding of the planet. I also love seeing students grasp these concepts and appreciate the wonders of our natural world.”

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.