Sheri Sheppard - Student Introduction

Remarks by Samantha Brunhaver
Former student of Sheri Sheppard
2014 Outstanding Doctoral and Research Universities Professor of the Year

Good afternoon. It is my honor to introduce Dr. Sheri Sheppard. I first met Sheri in 2008 when I was an incoming master's student, and she was assigned as my program advisor. In the years since, I have worked with Sheri as her doctoral student, her teaching assistant, and on many committees and projects. I have witnessed countless examples of what makes Sheri an exceptional teacher, and in these brief remarks, I will highlight one.

For more than 20 years, Sheri has taught an engineering statics course for sophomores. For many students, this course is their first real introduction to engineering, and as her teaching assistant in 2009, it was easy to see why it is so popular. Where other professors might lecture, Sheri promotes hands-on, minds-on learning.

For example, to learn about forces and moments, students build bridges and analyze bicycles. To learn about fracture, they investigate broken bones and broken chalk. It is Sheri's delivery of course content in terms that students can actually relate to that makes her unique.

Sheri also shows tremendous empathy for students. In her course, she is always listening, observing and thinking of ways to help students to better understand concepts. Ever the engineer, she is also always innovating. Just four years ago, Sheri completely revamped her statics course. Since then, the course has become a learning test bed, developing new pedagogy and curricular tools every year.

Six years after meeting Sheri, I am now a new assistant professor of Engineering at Arizona State University. I credit Sheri with helping me to realize and achieve this goal, and I often strive to emulate her when I myself am teaching or advising.

For all that she has done for me and the engineering education community, I would like to say "thank you" and "congratulations."

Please welcome my advisor and the Outstanding Doctoral and Research Universities Professor of the Year, Dr. Sheri Sheppard.