June 28, 2023
Life At Witt

Mackenzie Hessick ’25

Wittenberg junior receives 2023 Cornett Creative Teaching Merit Scholarship

Mackenzie Hessick, class of 2025 from Hilliard, Ohio, has been named the 2023 recipient of The Claudia E. and Charles F. Cornett Creative Teaching Merit Scholarship, which annually recognizes a rising junior or senior education major or minor seeking teacher licensure who has a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and exhibits creative behaviors and philosophies. The scholarship committee noted that four characteristics stood out in reviewing Hessick’s application: “her willingness to take risks and her playfulness with words, images, and ideas, especially as she tutored elementary-aged students with immunodeficiencies during the pandemic; her empathy toward others, particularly in the emphasis she places on children’s social and emotional health; and her persistence and resilience during problem solving, as evidenced by her ability to generate creative solutions across various contexts.”

Hessick, an early childhood education major with a minor in psychology recently took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to answer some questions about the award and what inspired her to pursue a career in education.

Wittenberg: How and when did you realize you wanted to be a teacher?

Hessick: I am blessed to have grown up with a younger sister, Clara, who I loved teaching the alphabet and sight words to. As I grew older, I was able to tutor my younger cousins, Alexa, Ella, and Liza, during the COVID-19 pandemic. I quickly realized I loved watching the people I love so much as they learned something new and were filled with joy and accomplishment.

Wittenberg: How has the education department and your Wittenberg education in general prepared you for the future?

Hessick: The professors have always encouraged and challenged me to push my creative limits. They have pushed me to ensure that my teaching practices are effective, engaging, and inclusive. 

Wittenberg: What extracurricular activities have you been involved with at Wittenberg?

Hessick: University Honors Program, women’s soccer team, Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC), Math Workshop (math education tutor), and Delta Gamma (vice president of programming)

Wittenberg: What are your goals after graduating from Wittenberg?

Hessick: I aspire to become an elementary educator after graduation. If possible, I would love to coach youth soccer as well. 

Wittenberg: What does receiving the Cornett Teaching Award mean to you?

Hessick: I am extremely honored to have received this award. Earning this honor will continue to push me to embrace the creativity and determination that this award stands for. I look forward to continuing to embrace challenges as I work to become an educator.

Cornett Creative Teaching Merit Scholarship
Creative thinking is the defining characteristic of The Cornett Creative Teaching Merit Scholarship. As lifelong educators, Claudia, professor emeritus of education, and Charles, retired superintendent of Clark County Schools, view “out-of-the-box” thinking as the core of effective problem solving and central to excellent teaching.
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Debbie Ritter
Debbie Ritter
Writer and Content Editor

About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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