Tammy Kernodle receives 2014 Effective Educator Award

Tammy Kernodle

Tammy Kernodle, 2014 Effective Educator, focuses her courses on a
variety of genres, including African-American music, American jazz
music and gender and popular music.

written by Emily Stewart (Miami ’08) Assistant Director, University Advancement Communications

Tammy Kernodle, professor of musicology, has been selected by the Miami University Alumni Association (MUAA) as recipient of the 2014 Effective Educator Award, which recognizes one Miami University faculty/staff member whose impact extends far beyond the traditional parameters of education.

MUAA honored all of its 2014 nominees and will formally present the award to Kernodle during a special reception Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Kernodle earned her bachelor's in music degree in choral music education and piano from Virginia State University and then went on to complete her master's and doctorate in music history from Ohio State University. At Miami, Kernodle’s coursework focuses on a variety of genres, including African-American music, American jazz music and gender and popular music.

Beyond the classroom, Kernodle has served as the Scholar in Residence for the Women in Jazz Initiative at the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, Mo., and penned the biography, Soul on Soul: The Life and Music of Mary Lou Williams. She also was selected to serve as a consultant for constructing music exhibits associated with the National Museum of African American History and Culture; the Smithsonian consortium museum is slated to open in 2015 in Washington, D.C.

While this year’s nominators wrote of Kernodle’s obvious passion for music, they also wrote of her greater passion — her students.

“I walked into Dr. Kernodle’s upper-level “Roots of Black Music” class ready to learn, but I was unaware that, as a freshman, I was totally unprepared to handle the course load and required assignments,” one nominator wrote. “Seeing I was struggling early in the semester, Dr. Kernodle scheduled an academic intervention. She told me she would not let me fail and even offered to come in on weekends to help me understand the course assignments. 

“As a result of that intervention, Dr. Kernodle taught me that professors at Miami cared about their students. She taught me to never give up, even when I wasn’t prepared to handle the load. I have never forgotten that lesson.”

The Effective Educator Award was established by MUAA in 1983 to honor those who instruct, impact and inspire their students. Each recipient is nominated by members of that year’s five-year reunion class; the Class of 2010 submitted nominations for this year’s Effective Educator winner.