The Henry P. and M. Paige Laughlin Annual Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching honors a faculty member who demonstrates exemplary scholarship in their field. This year’s recipient, Elizabeth Kiester, Ph.D., is an accomplished scholar, a dedicated mentor and an engaged and energetic teacher who does not shy away from experimenting with new pedagogical methods to enhance students’ experiences in her classroom.
Kiester is a diligent practitioner of the student-faculty partnership who is not only committed to teaching in and outside the classroom, but also to giving students a sense of belonging, boosting their confidence and growth as individuals so that they can be successful in college.
As an assistant professor of sociology, Kiester has demonstrated the benefits of the Students as Partners (SaP) pedagogy through co-creation of projects on diverse topics such as Star Wars, stereotype threat and emotional intelligence, to name a few. In the last two years alone, she has mentored students on six honors theses, four ACRE projects, and has co-authored an article with a student.