UNCG Campus Weekly

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Sharon Morrison will receive BOG Excellence in Teaching Award

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors has selected Dr. Sharon Morrison to receive a 2017 Award for Excellence in Teaching. She will receive the medal at the May Commencement ceremony.

The associate professor has been a member of the Public Health Education department since 2001. She is also a research fellow with the Center for New North Carolinians.

Campus Weekly asked her what she most wants to accomplish as a faculty member.

“I work hard at providing ‘real time’ learning opportunities for our students,” she said. “These ‘next generation’ thinkers and doers need these kinds of experiences so they can grow their confidence and competence.”

Dr. Dana Dunn, provost and executive vice chancellor, said, “Sharon Morrison is a highly valued faculty member whose work exemplifies the best of UNC Greensboro. She brings strong community engaged research together with outstanding instruction and mentoring.”

Dr. Sharon Morrison received her B.S. in Biology from Barry University, a master’s in Public Health from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC Chapel Hill, and a master’s in Public Health Education( and a PhD in Health Behavior from the University of Florida with a Graduate Certificate in Latin and Caribbean Studies.

In announcing the news of her award, the UNC System stated this about Dr. Morrison:

Empowerment for action: for Dr. Sharon Morrison, this refrain defines the scope and aim of every course she teaches, the motive at the heart of her research, and the goal of her institutional and community engagement. Dr. Morrison recognizes that learning is a unique experience, one that requires a student to bring and use their background and personal knowledge to build their intellectual proficiency and professional competency and to develop into lifelong learners. Students are participant learners for Dr. Morrison…Service Learners in her lexicon…and their individual perspectives serve as a classroom tool set for the intellectual growth of all. Always humble, Dr. Morrison claims simply to facilitate the learning process, but she does much more. In her fifteen years of service at UNCG, Sharon Morrison has demonstrated an unshakable, passionate commitment to her students – undergraduate and graduate — and to their growth as scholars.

Dr. Morrison is exceptionally proud of her students, and when speaking with her she will quickly recount their great efforts and accomplishments. Dr. Morrison’s creativity as a professor is highlighted by her fearless adoption of multiple pedagogical techniques and methods, from the classic Socratic Method to more cutting edge modern on-line opportunities. Her Service Learning International Health and Immigrant and Refugee Health courses provide distinctive Service-Learning opportunities. In these courses, students align classroom theory with the practice of real world challenges. These courses possess that “boots on the ground” attitude that exemplifies the essence of a ‘Dr. Sharon Morrison course’ — an immersive experience that simply demands intellectual growth. Students have participated on home-based care visits with HIV affected families in Africa. Students have worked in the Montagnard community and implemented a health fair with health education classes for immigrant families. In the Summer of 2016, Dr. Morrison brought her students far into the field, travelling to Malaysia with students so that they could witness and learn first-hand the peril and trials of the hidden refugee community. As one student has noted, ‘Traveling to Malaysia has by far been the greatest learning experience I have been involved in. Learning about the refugee process in class and what it’s like from the Stateside point of view is one thing, but to be physically in an area witnessing what was being taught in class and putting it into a real life setting, was extremely eye opening.’

Dr. Morrison’s students are indelibly marked with the ebullience, courage, ingenuity, and dedication that she displays. A former student states this most eloquently … ‘Dr. Morrison inspires me to continue her legacy of challenging students in a way that opens their eyes to the realities of our world and empowers them to engage it and make a true difference. I am deeply grateful for the passion that she fueled in me, that will drive the work I do for the rest of my life…. Dr. Morrison not only made me believe that I was capable of changing the world but she equipped me the tools I need to achieve my dreams.’

Updated with additional information 8:40 a.m.