John Ramsay

AMRE | John Ramsay Accepts Lifetime Achievement Award

October 19, 2020   /  

Dr. John Ramsay, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics and AMRE Co-Director, is presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his unwavering commitment to creating and building the AMRE experiential learning program at The College of Wooster.

Dr. Ramsay started AMRE, an eight-week team consulting program, 27 years ago with six students and two clients in an effort to help answer the question, “What can I do with a degree in Mathematics?” Since then, the AMRE program has grown, engaging about 35 students a summer, and serving 10-12 clients. Dr. Ramsay has gained national recognition for the program, receiving the National Society for Experiential Education’s Outstanding Leader in Experiential Education award in 2015.

After serving on the Experiential Learning task force, Dr. Ramsay joined APEX in 2012, first as the initial Associate Dean for Experiential Learning, then as Executive Director until he returned to the classroom full-time in 2017. One of his many accomplishments while in APEX was expanding AMRE to serve clients requesting projects completed outside the disciplines of mathematics and computer science.

There is much, much more to say about John’s work in Experiential Learning, but we cannot close without mentioning the contributions to this work he has made with the fun and lively environment he creates. He is eminently approachable, and while he holds students, staff, and his faculty colleagues to high standards, he can talk to anyone, as evidenced by his success in drawing and retaining AMRE clients, and soliciting funding for APEX from donors.

We encourage you to leave a note for Dr. Ramsay in the comments below.

90 thoughts on “AMRE | John Ramsay Accepts Lifetime Achievement Award”

  1. Congratulations on a well-deserved honor. Thank you for all you’ve done to advance Experiential Education at The College of Wooster!

  2. To my dear friend and colleague- heartfelt congratulations on this well-deserved award! You have done so much for our campus, helping to provide valuable experiential learning opportunities for many of our students. I know that they are very grateful for your many gifts, including your teaching talents, your wonderful sense of humor and your student-centered approach to everything that you do.

  3. There could not be a more deserving recipient and a more well-spent “lifetime”! What would Experiential Learning at the College of Wooster look like without John Ramsay? Two generations (three generations?) of students speak to his impact on them as learners, as workers, as thinkers, as communicators, as people.
    His shoes are too big for one person to fill, but Vikki Briggs and I will do our best to each grab a shoe and run with it. (Hopefully not in opposite directions!)

    1. Yes, Marian. Big shoes and a lot of ice cream! John, we’ll do our best to continue your AMRE legacy!

  4. Congratulations on this well-deserved honor, John! You have been a mentor and inspiration to generations of Wooster students and faculty, and your contributions to the college will endure far beyond your retirement. Thank you for your leadership and friendship, and we wish you & Eileen many happy, healthy years together!

  5. Wow, this is wonderful and well deserved. So thankful for all of your contributions to the department and for your deep care and devotion. An honor to call you friend.

  6. Congratulations, John! Your dedication to the College, contributions to the world of math, and influence on the many people lucky enough to have crossed your path all “add up” to your “totally” deserving this honor!

  7. John you are so very deserving of this award. I’m so grateful to have walked beside you and watch this program grow and change over the years. Hugs my dear friend and colleague!

  8. Congratulations, John! They describe you so well and you deserve the recognition. Proud to know you. With Love, Susan

  9. Congratulations, John! You certainly have worked for the betterment of the College and its students your whole career. That work includes for the student athletes as well. You were a great spokesperson for them and supporter of their teams!

  10. Outstanding John !!! So proud of you ….Ralph Compton Jr MD
    My only regret is I didn’t have you as a teacher. Congratulations!!!

  11. Your legacy will live on for a long, long, time, John. It’s been so much fun and so rewarding to work with you these last 9 years. Amid all the laughter, the focus has always been on how we can best serve our students. What an example of that you are!

  12. Congratulations on this well deserved recognition! We are very grateful and fortunate to have benefited from the foundation you have set for Wooster and your legacy in EL. Thank you for your dedication to APEX and AMRE!

  13. AMRE was my first internship, my first opportunity in the real world and I will forever be grateful for that experience. Congratulations Professor Ramsay! Your classes, advice, guidance and the amount you genuinely cared about your students shaped me, both professionally and personally, in more ways that I could express. And I will always be grateful for that and for having you as my advisor and mentor!

    1. MVP is my favourite memory of Wooster. Thanks Dr. Ramsay and Dr. Pierce for the unforgettable experience!

    2. Varu! Thank you so much for checking in and leaving such nice words. I just thought of you earlier this week when I came across an old box of chocolate frogs. Wasn’t that you?

  14. Dear Dr. Ramsay, a hearty congratulations on this award! I couldn’t imagine my time in Wooster without your advisory, the opportunities you provided and moreover your infectious love for Math and research that compelled me to never want to leave Taylor Hall. I may just be one in many many students who’ve benefitted from your wisdom and dedication toward experiential learning; nevertheless, it has been an absolute honor to have had you as my mentor, once.

    1. Priyanka,
      So wonderful to hear from you! Please drop me a note and let me know what you are up to. It’s been quite awhile since those days with Progressive ! (Am I remembering right?)

  15. You were the best kind of mentor that an undergrad could have-positive, present, enthusiastic and encouraging. Congratulations on the lifetime award!

    1. Smita! I heard rumor that I might hear from you. Thanks so much for touching base. I’d love to hear from you and Siddhant. Even chat sometime. I hope you all are well.

  16. Congratulations Dr. Ramsay! You fully deserve this recognition and I will always remember with much joy and appreciation the great summers spent as part of the AMRE programme. It was great to work hands-on on practical challenges in interdisciplinary teams and to also enjoy many many nice social events, such as the outdoor picnics and ice-cream runs =). You have left a strong legacy and a beautiful tradition at Wooster. And without a doubt you have influenced in the most positive way the personal and professional development of many students, including myself. Congratulations again and warmest greetings sent your way from Vienna, Austria.

    1. Ooh, I so much want to come to Vienna for a visit! Wonderful to hear from you and remember so many wonderful conversations with you. I still use the Children’s Services AMRE project as a wonderful example of interdisciplinary collaboration done the right way!

      1. In addition to ice-cream, traveling is another great idea for retirement =). You are most welcome to come to Vienna for a visit! We have some great old traditional coffee houses in the city, where we could have coffee, eat cake and talk about AMRE and Wooster =). The Children’s Services project was such an enriching experience, Andreja and I still talk about it every time we meet!

        1. It would be wonderful to see you sometime, in any place. But Vienna would be icing on the cake (maybe I should say ice cream on the cake!). I like the great old traditional coffee house idea!

  17. Very well done, John! I smile every time I remember the enthusiasm, devotion and talent that you and your team displayed back near the very beginning, launching into a challenging project to better manage inventory in a cold ice cream warehouse. Now, a quarter century and scores of projects later, many an organization within this region, and I believe the region itself, is the better for your efforts and your exemplary leadership…and that’s on top of all the students who have been blessed to count you as one of the inspirational influences in their lives. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement, John, but by all means continue to lean in to those purpose-driven initiatives that peak, or even tweak, your interest.

    1. Thanks, Eddie. Quite fitting that ice cream was part of the first project! Ice cream became a primary theme running through 27 years of AMRE. Lots of trips to Dari-Land and Hartzlers.

  18. Congratulations John! So incredibly well deserved. You are a model and an inspiration to so many. Thank you for your innovation, dedication, and support!

    1. Thanks, James! So good to know that there are good things still to come for the Wooster community!

  19. Dr. Ramsay I’m here as well. I was extremely privileged to be a part of the AMRE group and indeed to be your student. Many congratulations on this recognition of what is truly many lifetimes worth of contributions to your students. You taught at every stage to link our education with the world around us and never made us forget that we are not an ivory tower but part of a living community. Through the AMRE projects, You showed us to connect with the real world and in doing so helped to prepare us for life beyond college. The two AMRE summers were the best months of my Wooster career.. the only drawbacks were the copious amounts of ice cream which made me pack on the summer pounds! Thank you for all you did for us.
    Once again, Smita and I are so happy to see you get this recognition. We would love to chat with you sometime. Please let us know when.

    1. PS. Now that you have some time, India is waiting for you…. Do plan a trip to visit us.

      1. Thank you, Siddhant. And an invite to India! That would be so cool! When this day settles down a bit, I really do want to reach out to some of you all and find a way to video chat. If I’ve learned anything from COVID, it’s that distance really shouldn’t keep us from staying in touch.

        1. Lovely. To hear that. Maybe some AMRE zoom meetings by decade so we can catch up with you and each other.

  20. Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition, John! Your impact upon Wooster, your students, and colleagues is immeasurable. May your retirement bring you many more opportunities to “learn by doing” – grandparenting, storytelling, advice-giving, zucchini growing, ice-cream eating included!

    1. Thanks Krista. You are one of those that has helped make the journey such a joy! I’m so glad we got to work together!

  21. Congratulations Dr. Ramsay on this well-deserved award. I spent a short time with you during the AMRE internship, but I deeply cherish all the guidance and mentorship received. Thank you. Congratulations again and greetings from Ghana.

    1. Ayeley!!! So great to hear from you! Thank you so much for the congrats. The Ashesi/AMRE program has been a highlight for me these last 5 years. It has been such a pleasure to get to know so many wonderful students from Ashesi. I hope you are well. Send me an email and let me know what you are up to these day.

  22. Dr. Ramsay – they couldn’t have given this award to a more deserving individual. Congratulations!

    I visit Wooster roughly 16 years ago and sat in on a calculus class you were teaching. I enjoyed the class thoroughly and afterwards you invited me back to your office to chat. That discussion, in which I heard about AMRE for the first time, is what ultimately made my decision to attend The College of Wooster.

    As a (3x) AMRE alum, I can say that the program has changed the lives of countless students. I still recall my first summer, working for Progressive Insurance. That project was my first introduction to using Monte Carlo simulation — a technique which I used in later course projects at The College of Wooster, was later central to my Ph.D. thesis work in Applied Mathematics, and has been applied to some degree in every job I’ve had post-graduation.

    I can’t thank you enough for the wonderful work you’ve done, both in and outside the classroom! You were a joy to have as a teacher and mentor and I miss the days seeing you (and, of course, the rest of the awesome Math faculty) around the third floor of Taylor Hall.

    1. So great to hear from you Jeff! Wow, I had no idea that a bit of Monte Carlo simulation would be so transformative! Haha. And I do remember how much pressure you put on me when you announced at Math Table in Kittredge that I was the reason you came to Wooster. Do you remember that? It has always made remember that everything we do can have impact so do it all as well as you can. Some fun years with Pam squaring a circle as well.

  23. Congratulations, Dr. Ramsay!
    I am extremely happy to hear that you are awarded this recognition. You have created an amazing program that helps Wooster students gain valuable hands-on experience. AMRE will always be one of my favorite Wooster memories, because it was filled with amazing opportunities to learn, grow, but also have fun. Thank you so much for your guidance. Congratulations again, Dr. Ramsay!

    P.S.: It is so nice to see some familiar names in the comments section. I hope everyone is staying safe and sane. Best wishes!

    1. Jola, thanks for checking in! Are you up for doing a data analysis project with no data again? You were on the Will-Burt project, right? I hope you are doing well. Send me an email update.

      1. That’s what I’m doing almost everyday these days, Dr. Ramsay! Data problems never go away. Haha. Yes, I was on the Will-Burt project with Thanh and Julia. What a project it was! We cleaned data using Excel and each function took 6 minutes to run. It took us a month to get through all the files. I will never forget it. That summer is also when I first heard of SAS. I would never have imagined working for their R&D department at some point. These days, I’m using open source. AMRE gave me the first taste of my current career. I will gladly catch up with you via email. Thank you for everything that you’ve done!

  24. Hi Dr. Ramsay,

    Congratulations on receiving your Experiential Learning Lifetime Achievement Awards! Countless number of Wooster students and I learned and benefited tremendously from your teaching in our Math classes (Operations Research and Topology come to mind). I was impressed at how you always seemed to know how to make difficult things look easy. Thank you for your mentorship during the AMRE program! It was one of the most memorable and unique experiences that I had at Wooster.Wish you a happy and healthy retirement and I look forward to seeing you again, hopefully on campus!

    1. Thanks so much, Thanh! You also were on the no-data AMRE project, I believe! Keep me posted on what you are up to these days.

  25. Congratulations, Dr. Ramsay! Incredibly well deserved – both for this award and retirement!! Wishing you all the best.

    1. Thanks Dana! Like I said, lots of really amazing people to work with over the years and you were one of them.

  26. Hi Dr. Ramsay,

    I can’t imagine anyone more deserving of this award! Co-ops have become commonplace these days but you pioneered and championed this for decades, teaming up Wooster with some of the biggest global brands.

    Not only did I cherish my AMRE experience, but it helped me tremendously get my footing in life after Wooster.

    Thank you – for everything!

    Congratulations on the award and your retirement! Please do make a trip up north to Toronto now that your schedule will free up a bit! 🙂


    1. Hussain, so great to hear from you! Thanks for your kind words. A Toronto trip sounds pretty nice to me. My wife and I have never been there. Travel is certainly in our plans.

  27. Congratulations John! Well deserved. Your impact on the students and the College has been profound and you are leaving a tremendous legacy at the College and in the community. Thanks for everything you’ve done.

    1. Thanks, Adam. I really am excited about the future for the Wooster community and the College. I know you and Vikki will be at the heart of whatever is going on!

  28. Congratulations, John! This is a well-deserved recognition of your influence on this campus and community. As evidenced by all the comments here, you have inspired so many students and colleagues to be thoughtful about the meaning of our learning and work. Thank you for not only hiring me to work here at Wooster, but for the years of mentorship and guidance. See you at Dari-Land.

    1. Thanks, Ryan. It has been a fun morning hearing from so many folks. Thanks for helping me remember that Dari-Land is really at the heart of it all. So fun to remember our first meeting down there. We need to do a reunion tour there, maybe next summer. I just looked it up on my calendar: July 10, 2012, 1 pm – “Meet Ryan Ozar”. Wow! The beginning of what has been a wonderful friendship. I’m so glad you chose to check out this strange APEX experiential learning thing!

      Let’s do it, July 10, 2021, 1pm at Dari-Land.

    1. Dan! Thanks so much. Seeing your name brings back nightmares about Black-Scholes! Lots of great memories. It’s been awhile since we caught up a bit. Send me an email update. I can then reply and tell you about sitting on the patio watching the birds while eating ice cream!

  29. Dear Dr. Ramsay

    My very sincere congratulations on this well-deserved recognition! I fondly recall my AMRE internship in Summer 2004 working with the City of Wooster and Wayne County to assess the economic impact of Newell-Rubbermaid’s decision to exit operations.

    This opportunity gave me invaluable experience taking what I learned in school and applying it in the “real world,” and was pivotal in helping me land my first job in business. It was a pleasure getting to know you inside and outside the classroom – your support of the men’s soccer team was always appreciated! On behalf of all the many students and organizations whose lives you have touched, my profound thanks!

    1. Great to hear from you Gerry! The Rubbermaid Economic Impact team! That goes back a few years. I still remember that project well. That was you, Liz and Becky, I believe. I saw Becky in the last year. It was so great to catch up with her. I hope you are well. I would love to hear what you’ve been up to. Maybe you have corresponded with Pam, but I know she would love it as well. There were some fun years while you were at Wooster.

  30. Dear Dr. Ramsay,

    I am so grateful you opened up AMRE to us non-Math/Comp Sc majors. My journey at Wooster would have remained incomplete without taking part in the wonderful Retention project ’16 which I see this year has a sequel! Thank you for elevating my experience at Wooster and giving me an ‘in’ to a real world experience with mentored guidance and in our safe bubble so I learnt how to contribute to my community. My confidence elevated since that summer as I put theory to practice.

    Congratulations on a well-deserved award and yes Hertzlers should have a life time discount to its most loyal member! Well wishes and happy retirement.

    1. Unnati, I am so honored to have so many of you reach out in this way. I’m going to be sure to tell Hartzlers what you suggest! : )

      I hope the new job is going well (not so new, now). Do keep me posted on how you are doing.

      1. Yes, Professor I surely will send you an update! (about to complete one year now at EducationUSA)

  31. Congratulations Dr. Ramsay!
    What an exceptional achievement! Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of the experience and an AMRE alum. I cherished the small team experiential learning over that summer (some 14 years ago now) and I am amazed at how you continued to bridge academia and the real world for students across campus through APEX.
    I hope you get some basketball in between those retirement ice cream sessions. All the best on the years to follow and your future travels!

    1. Scott! Wow, has it been that many years? Wonderful to hear from you and thank you for the congratulations. It has been such a fun ride. I seem to remember that you were on a Progressive team. Those have been so much fun over these many years. Haha on the basketball! I’m afraid that ship has sailed! I’m finding other ways to work off the excess ice cream. : )

  32. Congratulations John! So well deserved! You have built an outstanding program and I have been so blessed to have been both a recipient of the knowledge gained from AMRE projects and to have participated with outstanding student teams to answer community concerns. Thank you!

    I know there is much ice cream in your future, but also know that you will continue to be an active mentor to all of us. For that I am very thankful.


    1. Cameron, you are certainly high on my list of amazing people that I have had the good fortune to work with. Thank you for being such a great friend for so, so many years. Lots of wonderful memories to cherish!

  33. Congratulations John!
    I can’t think of anyone who deserves this recognition more than you do.

    I’m so grateful that I got to work with you in APEX during my first few years at the college. You are the best example of doing meaningful work while still having fun.

    I miss you lurking around APEX interrupting everyone’s day!

    1. Jamie! Thanks so much. You are one of those that has been part of the joy I have found in my work. I also miss “lurking around APEX and interrupting”. There are a bunch of things we need to gab about including a huge congratulations! I hope we can find time for me to interrupt you soon.

  34. Congratulations John! Working with AMRE was a great experience. The way that you created such strong engagement and buy-in from all members was inspiring and helped me learn new ways to approach my own summer research program.

    1. Thanks, Amy Jo. The fun is in the journey. And, of course, in looking back at the journey, as I’m getting to do now. So many fond memories with all of you that have been part of my life. Blessings to you.

  35. I miss you!!
    Congratulations! You are so deserving of recognition for your loyalty and efforts to the College and its students. Thank you for being a bright light wherever you go.
    Sending all good wishes for health and happiness.

    1. Oh, Emily. So many good times trying to figure out why in the world some technology was not working for me! You have always had a knack for keeping the fun in technology headaches. Did I say fun? Thanks for your kind words. I miss you too!

  36. Congratulations Dr. Ramsay! Thank you for sharing your gifts. I enjoyed my time at Wooster and participating in AMRE. The experience opened up many doors for me and I appreciate your dedication and enthusiasm that you shared. Enjoy retirement. Thank you!

    1. Julie! Another Progressive AMRE alum. We ought to have a reunion by client. That would be interesting comparing notes over the years. It seems you went to FirstEnergy from Wooster. I’d love to hear what you have been up to since! Send me an email update sometime.

  37. Congratulations on a well deserved honor Dr. Ramsay!

    AMRE was one of my foundational College of Wooster experiences and really set the stage for my current career trajectory. Whether it was dealing with Excel and Access for Goodyear or doing algorithmic image analysis of tomatoes for the OARDC, those events provided a platform that made the transition to the working world easy!

    Additionally, thank you for always welcoming Anne and I back when we see you at Wooster even if it’s now closer to two decades than one since Calc 102.

    All the best as you move on the next stage of life and if you ever find yourself in the Bay Area please to write!

    1. Rick, please don’t remind me about 2 decades! I taught FYS last fall and realized that my students were closer in age to my grandchildren than to my children. I expect you aren’t the only AMRE alum two-fer with Goodyear and the Tomato Analyzer under your belt! Lots of great projects there. FYI, the Stats and Data Science major is now in place and going very well! The department is getting overwhelmed with the interest. Eileen and I do hope to travel and if we get your direction, we will definitely let you know. Always wonderful to see you and Anne!

  38. So so many congratulations, John! And so well deserved. Thank you for being a kind mentor to me. -Jen

    1. Thanks, Jen. I miss seeing you and the rest of the department. COVID would be doing that to me even if I weren’t retired! Hang in there. I’ve heard some very nice things from folks about your work this year. No surprise.

  39. Hi Dr. Ramsay,

    What a pleasure it’s been to cross paths with you. First, in the days of CCS and then on campus at Wooster when I began my role here. Any time we talk about experiential learning with a donor, yours is always the first face that comes to mind. Thank you for the incredible work you’ve done for Wooster, both the campus and the broader community! The programming you’ve established will continue to make an impact on generations of students to come!

    1. Thanks, Jean. It’s been cool to see you as part of the college community now. CCS days seem quite some time ago now, don’t they? I really appreciate your kind words.

  40. Lord knows, I don’t understand one thousandth of a percent of what you taught in mathematics. I do know you well as a person and you and Eileen are in the Werth family Hall of Fantastic Friends.

    1. Good to hear from you Jay! I didn’t know of this Hall of Fantastic Friends, but you are definitely in ours! Sometime we can sit and I can fill you in on all of the mathematics. : )

  41. Hello Professor Ramsay! Congratulations on being recognized for your tireless commitment to us students! I’m grateful for my AMRE experience so (so!) many years ago…I always recall it fondly. I’m delighted that Wooster saw the potential and results which led to APEX…and had someone as experienced and dedicated as you to see it into maturity! Take care!

    1. Chuck. Great to hear from you and thank you for the kind words. It has been such a wonderful ride! Hard to believe how many years you have been out. I looked back at that AMRE year and it brought back a lot of memories. Dan, Smita, Oana, Emily, Nikita, … Of course Emily turned me down for AMRE, I believe for the second year in a row.

      I hope you are doing well.

  42. Congratulations, John,on such a fitting award! I have learned so much from you over the years and deeply appreciate all you’ve done to build the AMRE and EL Programs and to shape “the College of Wooster experience” for so many students, staff and faculty.

    1. Dave. As I said, lots of amazing people to work with. You and Cathy are certainly two of those. You have been a big part of what has brought joy to my work. Thanks!

  43. That’s what I’m doing almost everyday these days, Dr. Ramsay! Data problems never go away. Haha. Yes, I was on the Will-Burt project with Thanh and Julia. What a project it was! We cleaned data using Excel and each function took 6 minutes to run. It took us a month to get through all the files. I will never forget it. That summer is also when I first heard of SAS. I would never have imagined working for their R&D department at some point. These days, I’m using open source. AMRE gave me the first taste of my current career. I will gladly catch up with you via email. Thank you for everything that you’ve done!

  44. Hi John. I heard about you being awarded this lifetime achievement award through Brian. Many congratulations to you! I hope you and Eileen are doing well.


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