Press Release

Fall 2021 Robert L. Bailey Teaching Award Recipients Announced


Sherry Mercurio
Executive Director, Office of Community Relations
(614) 947-6581

Columbus, OH (January 10, 2022)

Franklin University, one of the leading educators of working adults in central Ohio, celebrated its 169th Commencement on Sunday, Jan. 9. Along with honoring the graduates, Franklin recognized Lauren Thomas and Dr. Nicolette Cutright, from its faculty as recipients of the distinguished Robert L. Bailey Teaching Award.

Congratulations to this trimester’s recipients: Lauren Thomas, undergraduate faculty and Dr. Nicolette Cutright, graduate faculty.

Lauren Thomas has been a Franklin University adjunct professor since 2001. She teaches the undergraduate finance courses, as well as Business Environment and Corporate Finance within the university’s MBA program. Lauren’s teaching style allows students to bring their experiences to the classroom and build their skills. She supports and mentors each student based on their individual needs. 

Lauren earned her bachelor’s degree from Ashland University and her MBA from the University of Dayton. A Certified Public Accountant, she spent 18 years with Bank One in a variety of roles including controller of the bank’s technology and mortgage companies, as well as product manager and CFO of internet banking. Lauren has owned her own executive recruiting company for 20 years, and has spent 25 years in leadership and executive roles for nonprofit organizations.

Dr. Nicolette Cutright has been teaching applied psychology courses at the undergraduate level and assisting with course development at Franklin University since 2012. Her teaching style is that of a coach, facilitator and mentor, while actively encouraging students to engage in critical thinking. 

Dr. Cutright received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Northern Illinois University in 2008. Licensed in the U.S. Virgin Islands (VI) and Ohio, she conducts assessments and provides therapy to children, adolescents and their families on the island of St. Thomas. Her areas of expertise and interests include trauma, anxiety disorders, depression, bullying, self-injury and psychological assessment. In addition to practice and teaching, Dr. Cutright is a reviewer for a number of academic journals, serves on the VI Board of Psychology Examiners, and writes and manages grants at Insight Outreach, a nonprofit organization that provides free services to people in the VI.

About the Robert L. Bailey Teaching Award
Each trimester, two faculty members are honored with the Robert L. Bailey Teaching Award. Graduating students are asked to identify one undergraduate and one graduate faculty member who had the most significant influence on them throughout their educational experience at Franklin University. The award recognizes those who have challenged students intellectually and guided them in finding the significance of the course content as it relates to them both personally and professionally. 

While more than 100 graduate and undergraduate faculty members are nominated each trimester – clearly showing the magnitude of the interaction between students and faculty at Franklin University – the faculty members receiving the most nominations are awarded this honor. 

These awards are funded through an endowment established by State Auto Insurance Companies in recognition of Robert L. Bailey, who served State Auto for 28 years in various positions, including President, CEO, and Chairman, until his retirement in 2000. Bailey is also a past Chair and a Trustee Emeritus of Franklin University’s Board of Trustees. 

About Franklin University

Accredited, nonprofit, and dedicated to educating adults since 1902, Franklin provides onsite course options at our Main Campus in downtown Columbus, Ohio, and is an innovator in providing personalized online education. The University offers applied in-demand undergraduate, masters, and doctorate programs that enable adult learners to achieve their educational and professional goals. Through agreements with partner institutions, the University also offers international academic programs, including its top-ranked MBA.

Franklin University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and holds specialized accreditations for specific academic programs through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, and the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management Education. The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have designated Franklin University as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE).

News Type

  • University