Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith
Excellence in Teaching, 2021

Assistant Professor Sarah Smith models best-practice principles in her education and preparation of future occupational therapists. Using her 20 years of experience as a pediatric occupational therapist, she infuses her teaching with key principles that prepare students for success as practitioners.

Dr. Smith’s effectiveness and value as a teacher cannot be captured solely by student evaluations: However, her overall ratings have been higher than the college average from the moment she began teaching at UNH. Through well-organized course structure, she effectively builds the constructs necessary to make complex, abstract ideas easier to understand and apply. Indeed, she has an extraordinary talent for distilling complexity into accessible visual representations and models. Her emphasis on classroom community ensures that all students are included, uniquely valued and respected. Students often express how much they value Dr. Smith as not only a teacher but also as a role model for their future practices. She also employs techniques that actively engage her students and foster their participation and application of skills that they will use in their own practice after graduation.

The many important contributions Dr. Smith makes to teaching extend from being the Honors Program advisor, and her participation and expertise in revisions of the current OT curriculum as well as in the development of the new OTD curriculum illustrate her incredible leadership qualities. She is a generous colleague, mentor and teacher. We are proud of her dedication and contributions, and we are thrilled to nominate her for this well-deserved award.

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.