Rebekah Matheny Honored with the 2023 PAVE Global Educator of the Year Award
Department of Design is delighted to announce that Associate Professor Rebekah Matheny has been honored with the 2023 PAVE Global Educator of the Year award. Nominated by current interior design seniors Averi Wolf, Brooke Koch, and Morgan Verb, their words reflect the deep impact Professor Matheny has had on their education. They stated, “She has exhibited, time and time again, her unwavering commitment to go above and beyond for her students, in and out of the classroom. We have been blessed to not only call her a professor but a mentor.”
The nomination garnered additional support from alumni Tyler Hatton and Emma Waters (Class of 2020), who eloquently expressed in their letter, “Rebekah genuinely believes in her students and supports them in any way she can. Our successes would not be possible without her support, and we only hope to one day be the type of mentor that Rebekah has been to us. We wholeheartedly believe that Rebekah deserves to be awarded the PAVE Global Educator of the Year because to us, and to many others, she is the educator of our careers."
Katherine Hunter (Class of 2021) also contributed a heartfelt letter of support, emphasizing Professor Matheny’s unwavering dedication. Hunter stated, "Rebekah is a professor that cares deeply for not only her current students but future and alumni. She elevates every project to a higher standard and persuades her students to think deeper and stretch their limits to become better designers." These testimonials vividly illustrate Professor Matheny’s tremendous impact on Ohio State design students.
Professor Matheny was presented the award in December at PAVE’s annual gala at the Frank Gehry-designed IAC Headquarters in New York City. The award was juried by a panel of industry peers who presented her the award. The 25th annual gala brought together industry leaders, students, and educators, celebrating PAVE’s 30 years of fostering mentorship, inspiration, and connections within the design community. PAVE, known as The Planning and Visual Education Partnership, plays a crucial role in empowering young talent to build successful careers in designing and creating consumer environments. Through various scholarships, educational initiatives, and mentorship programs, PAVE continues to be a driving force in nurturing the next generation of design professionals. The 2023 gala raised $31,000 to support student designers, highlighting the organization’s commitment to fostering and investing in emerging talent.