Jonathan Kershaw receives Elliott L. Blinn Award
BGSU assistant professor noted for 'innovative mentoring approach' with undergraduate students
Dr. Jonathan Kershaw, assistant professor in the College of Health and Human Services, has received a 2021 Elliott L. Blinn Award for Faculty-Undergraduate Student Innovative Basic Research/Creative Work.
The Blinn Award recognizes faculty members for their ability to collaborate with Bowling Green State University's undergraduate students while conducting innovative basic research and creative projects. The award honors the legacy of Dr. Elliott Blinn, professor of chemistry, who devoted his career to sharing with his undergraduate students the excitement of the process of discovery by directly involving them in his work.
Kershaw, who holds a Ph.D. in food science from Purdue University, has centered his research at BGSU on food choice and identifying the sensory informational strategies that influence healthier dietary behaviors. While teaching in the Department of Public and Allied Health, Kershaw has targeted methods for reducing energy intake by increasing satiety or improving the acceptance of reduce sugar products.
Dr. Cordula V. Mora, director for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship, cited Kershaw's “innovative mentoring approach” with his undergraduate students in her endorsement of him being considered for the Blinn Award. She said he honored the spirit of the Blinn Award with his outstanding commitment to collaborative work with undergraduates.
“He has a clearly defined research agenda that includes undergraduate students with a long list of co-authorship,” she said. “His passion for working with his students is very evident.”
Kershaw said that keeping his students deeply involved in research helps them stay on track with their individual development plans while also enhancing his ability to better serve them.
“Involving undergraduate students in research helps me develop my mentoring abilities, which better positions me to reach my aspirations to positively impact students and set them up for success,” he said. “Involving undergraduates in research also helps me stay in touch with current trends and topics. Students are often in tune with current food movements and help me gain insightful perspectives.”
Brittany Kralik, a 2019 graduate and current master's student, said that she had just minor involvement in research prior to collaborating with Kershaw, but that experience in his lab provided her with the opportunity to develop confidence working in that setting while also experiencing both personal and academic growth.
“Our project helped me to learn more about the process of conducting research in general and that it is one that requires thoughtfulness, flexibility and adaptability,” she said. “Dr. Kershaw was nothing less than enthusiastic and supportive from the start, which was motivating for me as a relatively new student in the research setting. This project truly was the one that sparked my interest in the research process and allowed me to expand my ideas for future research projects and even consider a career in the research setting.”
Chloe Brubaker said her experience as an undergraduate working with Kershaw provided her with those light bulb moments that are inspirational during research and discovery. She said he was instrumental in exposing her to the building blocks that make up the foundation of valuable research.
“Dr. Kershaw challenged me to think from different perspectives when considering a particular research topic or question and offered valuable feedback,” she said. “He clearly communicated his own skills and specialties in addition to providing other sources for areas that did not fall under his expertise. This simple initiative allowed me to utilize his expertise, network, and other resources to develop the project in a collaborative manner.”