Huron, Ohio – Bowling Green State University Firelands College honored one of its best at the 44th Annual Recognition Program held Friday, April 19, in the Cedar Point Center.  Rachelle Kristof Hippler of Castalia, computer science lecturer, was honored as the 2013 Distinguished Teacher.

The award is one of the highest honors the college can bestow as the recipients of the Distinguished Teacher Award are nominated by students and selected by a committee of their peers.

“To say that Mrs. Rachelle Hippler is an outstanding teacher does not even begin to sum up all of the wonderful things she has done for me and for all of the students she has taught,” said one nominator.

Hippler has been a faculty member at BGSU Firelands since 2002.  She also has experience at BGSU main campus and teaching experience in high school and junior high mathematics.

Her professional experience includes six years at Ernst & Young, Cleveland, where she was an information technology business consultant.  In addition to consulting on several major client projects and organizing the company’s inaugural Women in Business Conference, she managed the design, implementation, and support of a risk management reporting system used by Ernst & Young throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Hippler earned a master’s degree in computer science and a bachelor’s degree in secondary education with a mathematics specialization both from BGSU.  She is also currently working on her doctoral degree in leadership studies from BGSU.

Since stating at BGSU Firelands, Hippler has been instrumental in the creation of a 3+1 pathway for students to start a computer science degree at BGSU Firelands before transitioning to BGSU’s main campus to complete the bachelor’s degree.  She has also been involved in curriculum development for both the computer science bachelor’s and computer science technology associate degrees.

“There is so much more to computing than just programming and fixing hardware.  Computing is everywhere, in every industry.  I want students to know that it is an exciting field where you can do meaningful work and help people,” said Hippler.

Hippler is also an organizer of the Ohio Celebration of Women in Computing conference that has provided role modeling and mentoring for more than 600 college students.  She is also active in the Women in STEM program which encourages 7th and 8th grade girls to get involved with science, technology, engineering, and math fields.

“I have a soft spot for women who are interested in computing.  Computing is not just for men.  We need the perspectives that women bring to the field,” said Hippler.

Hippler supports the mission of BGSU through her service as BGSU Firelands Faculty Chair, BGSU Faculty Senate Representative, President of the Association of University Regional Colleges in Ohio, website manager for several organizations, and member of countless committees and projects.  She is also active in her church teaching 8th grade religion classes.

Criteria for the Distinguished Teacher Award includes scholarly knowledge of the subject matter, careful organization and preparation for courses, an ability to generate enthusiasm for the field and for learning, demonstrated ability to stimulate the intellect of students so as to foster skills in critical thinking and independent analysis, ability to communicate the subject matter in a clear, effective manner, utilization of a diversity of teaching methods/techniques, and sensitivity and responsiveness to students, both in and out of the class context.

In addition, the candidate must have teaching experience at BGSU Firelands for at least two years prior to the year of the nomination and candidates must not have received the award within the past five years.

For additional information or photos, contact Dean Schnurr, director of marketing and community relations, at 419.372.0613 or via e-mail at

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