Allen's student-centered approach to learning has inspired her science students for more than 30 years. At Thomas Worthington -- where she chairs the science department and teaches advanced placement and general chemistry -- Allen's chemistry courses culminate in portfolio projects, called "Chemistry and the Real World," in which students select an area of chemistry prevalent in their lives, research the topic, visit and interview a professional in the field, and present their project to the rest of the class. More than 70 percent of Allen's chemistry students continue on in physics. She also coaches the high school's Chemistry Olympiad team, which sent students to the national competition in 1999 and 2000.
Outside the classroom, Allen still finds time to participate in many professional activities. She served two terms on the board of the Science Education Council of Ohio and was elected president for the 1998-1999 term. She also co-authored grants from the Ohio Soybean Council and the Ohio Department of Education to provide professional development to education and pre-service teachers using the National Science Standards. Allen just completed a three-year term representing science educators on Ohio Governor Bob Taft's Teacher Advisory Board. She was recently appointed by the Ohio Department of Education to the Science Standards Advisory Committee.
In 1990, the Ohio Academy of Science and the American Association of University Women named Allen one of 100 outstanding role models for young women in science, mathematics and engineering. She has twice received the Golden Apple Achiever Award by Ashland Oil, Inc., and in 1999, the American Chemical Society named her Central Ohio's Chemistry Teacher of the Year.
Allen received a B.S.Ed. in secondary science education from Ohio University in 1969 and a M.S. in school counseling from Wright State University in 1974. She resides in Columbus, Ohio.
The ACS Regional Award in High School Chemistry Teaching recognizes educators who challenge and inspire their students, provide high-quality instruction, and participate in extracurricular activities that stimulate young people's interest in chemistry.