Excellence in Teaching, 2015

professor erin sharp

There are many characteristics that define excellence in teaching, but student Joshua Dolan describes it as "love" and "the teacher's ability to love their occupation that allows then to altruistically devote themselves to their students with the hope that the next generation will surpass the current."

Dr. Erin Sharp, Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, has consistently demonstrated her love for teaching and her expertise in youth and adolescent development, but most of all, dedication to her students and their successful learning. Student evaluations of her teaching are consistently among the highest, achieving a perfect 5.0 in the majority of the courses she has taught since she joined the faculty in 2009.

Dr. Sharp is highly engaged with her students, challenging them to think critically and explore alternative solutions to common problems. Dr. Kerry Kazura, Chair of the HDFS Department, says that Erin encourages self-discovery and enthusiasm about the subject matter and clearly values a learning environment that stimulates critical thinking from her students while demonstrating a respect for their opinions. Erin's calm and often humorous teaching style keeps students engaged throughout the class time and stimulates class discussion.

Kellie Ferrara, a graduate student in Marriage and Family Therapy, says "Dr. Hiley Sharp does not connect with her students on simply a professional level, but on a personal level as well. She is a warm, honest and personable individual."

By: Michael S. Ferrara, Dean, College of Health and Human Services

About This Award

Each year, the University selects a small number of its outstanding faculty for special recognition of their achievements in teaching, scholarship, and service. Awards for Excellence in Teaching are given in each college and school, and University-wide awards recognize public service, research, teaching, and engagement.