Sharon Kirkpatrick, a professor in the School of Public Health and Health Systems, is the 2021 winner of the student-nominated Faculty of Health Teaching Award, which celebrates teaching excellence.
“Sharon is a particularly innovative and successful instructor who continually works to make her courses more meaningful to students,” noted one letter of support. For example, she integrates weekly profiles of notable individuals working in public health and organizes panel discussions to help students explore career options related to the course topics. She experiments with different approaches to grading that focus on meaningful feedback, and explicitly integrates concepts related to anti-racism and other forms of oppression in her courses.
“This year was a tremendously challenging one for students and instructors alike,” Kirkpatrick said. “I am so appreciative of the students in my courses who provided feedback to help me actively engage them and enthusiastically participated in online discussions, peer feedback, and other strategies to collaborate with one another, even in a remote environment.
“One nominator noted that I taught students to advocate for and value themselves – that is one of the best compliments I could receive on my teaching approach!”
Kirkpatrick’s research focuses on dietary assessment, dietary patterns and inequities, and food policy, among other topics. She has been with the University of Waterloo since 2013.