2024 Jane S. Link Outstanding Teaching Award

Written By: Rebecca Hoffa, rhoffa@purdue.edu

Susan Gordon headshot

Susan Gordon, associate professor in the White Lodging-J.W. Marriott, Jr. School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM), is the recipient of the 2024 Jane S. Link Outstanding Teaching Award.

The award is presented annually to a faculty member in the Purdue University College of Health and Human Sciences (HHS) who demonstrates outstanding teaching performance across all phases of undergraduate instruction. Award recipients receive a cash award and are recognized at the spring HHS faculty meeting. The award is funded by HHS alumna Jane S. Link, who is currently the president of the HHS Dean’s Leadership Council.

From innovative course enhancements to building connections with students beyond the classroom, Gordon has made significant contributions to undergraduate education.

Responsive to the challenges students face, Gordon has applied many effective teaching strategies to engage her students in their coursework. These include developing a leadership-oriented book club during the COVID-19 pandemic in her HTM 21200 (Management and Leadership in Hospitality and Tourism) course, incorporating game-like elements into her HTM 18100 (Introduction to Lodging Management) course through pre-class quizzes, and integrating simulations that emphasizes real-world problem solving in her HTM 18100 course. All of these strategies received favorable student feedback and promoted positive academic outcomes.

After HTM’s advisory council identified leadership as being a critical skill for undergraduates, Gordon also led an initiative to develop a new HTM 39900 (Special Topics in HTM) course focused on leadership development to help students build up their communication and delegation skills and their self-confidence as a leader. To increase the number of HTM students who have access to and benefit from this knowledge, Gordon is working to incorporate some of this course material and the accompanying hands-on learning into the HTM 21200 course.

Gordon piloted and continues to spearhead the ForWardThinking (formerly Castell@College) seminar to develop women HTM students. She also has served as advisor for student organizations, including the HTM/CSR Career Day Board and the Purdue chapter of Eta Sigma Delta International Hospitality Management Society. On an individualized level, Gordon has mentored both graduate and undergraduate students across research, career counseling and professional development.

To further enhance her teaching effectiveness, Gordon served as an IMPACT Fellow and Data Science Fellow in Purdue’s Instruction Matters Purdue Academic Course Transformation (IMPACT) program, was a Junior Fellow in the Teaching for Tomorrow Program, and received the Teaching Leadership Award, all through Purdue’s Center for Instruction Excellence. Beyond these achievements, Gordon has authored education-related journal articles and given many conference presentations focused on undergraduate teaching.

For more information, please contact Susan Gordon or Tom Berndt.

  • Susan Gordon; associate professor; White Lodging-J.W. Marriott, Jr. School of Hospitality and Tourism Management; gordon31@purdue.edu.
  • Tom Berndt, senior associate dean for academic affairs and administration, College of Health and Human Sciences, berndt@purdue.edu.

2023 recipient: Scott Lawrance

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