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Elizabeth Grauerholz Award Statement

Elizabeth Grauerholz, Professor of Sociology at the University of Central Florida, is the 2007 co-recipient of the American Sociological Association’s Distinguished Contributions to Teaching award.Not only is Professor Grauerholz a gifted teacher and accomplished textbook author, but her tireless efforts to improve teaching throughout the discipline and her contributions to scholarship on teaching and learning are truly remarkable. Since 1988, she has published a dozen articles or chapters on teaching, including six articles in the flagship journal, Teaching Sociology. The earliest of these explored innovative techniques for enhancing active learning in the classroom, including “role taking” (1989) and “This is Jeopardy” (1991) a creative look at making exam preparation fun and challenging. Her subsequent Teaching Sociology articles explored a broad range of topics, including pedagogical ethics (1994), writing intensive courses (1999), deep learning (2001), critical thinking (2003), and instructional goals in the teaching of sociology. As Associate Editor and then two-term Editor of Teaching Sociology, she helped strengthen the field and raised the level of scholarship in the journal by providing insightful critiques and supportive editorial suggestions.One important innovation she implemented as Editor was a new type of journal article – the application piece -- designed to address how a specific article in a leading research journal can be used in teaching sociology.

In addition, Liz Grauerholz has produced teaching materials for the ASA Teaching Resource Center and is the author of other instructional materials, syllabi, web supplements, and reviews focused on the social psychology and sociology of families, sexual coercion, writing, photographic essays, research projects, teaching, and publishing in sociology, She has presented fifty workshops, lectures and presentations on teaching sociology or on the scholarship of teaching and learning to audiences ranging from national, regional and state associations to universities, colleges, and departments. She has played an active role in training and mentoring students and faculty members to become better teachers at the campus, regional, and national levels.While at Purdue University, she earned multiple teaching awards, was an Instructional Development Specialist, served as Interim Director of the Center for Instructional Excellence, and represented the discipline of sociology at the American Association of Higher Education Conference on Preparing Future Faculty.At the University of Central Florida she holds a senior faculty appointment in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning where she works with faculty from many disciplines to improve their teaching and to better understand teaching and learning processes, including conducting research on the topic.

Elizabeth Grauerholz has taken a leadership role in a wide variety of organizations promoting effective teaching, including serving as an elected Council member of the ASA Section on Teaching and Learning, as an elected member and Chair of the ASA Committee on Distinguished Contributions to Teaching, as an Editorial Board member for Teaching Sociology, as a member of the North Central Sociological Association’s Committee on Teaching, as a member of the Advisory Board for Indiana University’s Committee on Preparing Future Faculty, and on the Steering Committee of the Carnegie Academy for Scholarship of Teaching-Leadership Program on Undergraduate Education.She has also worked to improve the teaching of sociology by reviewing and improving specific sociology programs through teaching resource centers at several levels.In addition, she is the co-author of a popular textbook on the sociology of families and the editor of an edited collection on sexual coercion.

Dr. Grauerholz’ personal teaching portfolio is also remarkable.She is a fantastic undergraduate instructor, garnering stellar evaluations from students at Purdue and Central Florida, and she has mentored many graduate students when they were in school, but also when they were beginning professors. Her nomination packet includes letters from young sociologists whose careers benefited from her generosity and commitment to teaching, including publishing with graduate students and facilitating their assumption of first authorship on joint projects.

Elizabeth Grauerholz’ talent, skills and passion as a teacher, coupled with her desire to understand more about quality teaching, her scholarly acumen, and her skills at mentoring others, make her a perfect candidate for this award. She has made significant contributions to (1) scholarship on teaching and learning, (2) the eminence of our discipline’s flagship teaching publication, (3) the quality of instruction around the country via publications, workshops, lectures, and consultations, and (4) the advancement of sociology through serving on committees, boards and panels supporting quality teaching. In summary, Elizabeth Grauerholz is leading contributor to the improvement of the quality of teaching in sociology and is richly deserving of this award.