The Department of Art Education would like to congratulate Dr. Sara Scott Shields on being chosen as this year’s Excellence in Teaching Award recipient for the College of Fine Arts! Dr. Shields received the award at the fourth annual Fall Faculty and Staff Welcome & Awards ceremony at the William Johnston Building on the campus of Florida State University.
Dr. Sara Scott Shields is an Assistant Professor of Art Education at FSU. She currently serves as director of the Masters in Art Education program, the editor of the Journal of Art for Life, and as the Higher Education Division Chair for the Florida Art Education Association. She received her BFA in Ceramics and Art Education and MaED in Art Education from East Carolina University, later receiving her PhD in Art Education from The University of Georgia. While at UGA she received an outstanding teaching award and achieved additional certification in interdisciplinary qualitative studies. Prior to working as an Assistant Professor, she worked for six years as a high school art teacher in Wilmington, NC. Her research interests revolve around arts based approaches to both research and learning, with a specific focus on arts informed qualitative research methodologies, visual thinking in higher education curriculum and pedagogy, visual journaling, and teacher/researcher identity development and education. She has published multiple scholarly and creative works addressing these topics.
Dr. Shields joined the art education faculty in the fall of 2014, and has had an immediate impact on the quality of instruction within the department. She quickly infused new topics and approaches – such as arts-based research and technological innovations – into familiar coursework, and has blazed a path with new and excited learning opportunities such as the “Art for Social Justice Interdisciplinary Art Camp” run by art education majors for 7th – 12th grade students. Dr. Shields’ door is always open to students for advising, and she is largely responsible for the successful reinstallation and recent success of Florida State University’s Student Chapter of the National Art Education Association.
Jenn Hammock, one of Dr. Shields’ students, commented on her professor’s achievement:
Sara is a welcoming professor who offers an excellent balance between relationship and rigor. She knows her stuff…and if she doesn’t, she will admit it and find out. Light-hearted and transparent, she never comes across as being above anyone else. And, beyond anything else, she is a doer…and exemplifies life is for learning.
As a response to her accomplishment, Dr. Shields stated:
I am honored to receive this award. I have dedicated my career to teaching and teacher education, and it is nice to be recognized!
Congratulations, Dr. Shields, for this exceptional and outstanding achievement!