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USU Professor Receives National Teaching Award

Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014

Lindsey Shirley with her award

Lindsey Shirley (center) is the recipient of a national teaching award, the Family and Consumer Sciences Education Association's Educator of the Year.

Lindsey Shirley, a professor in the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences at Utah State University, has been named the Family and Consumer Sciences Education Association’s (FCSEA) Educator of the Year. The national award is presented annually to one family and consumer science (FACS) teacher.

“We look for teachers who display outstanding leadership in family and consumer sciences education and who have made contributions to the FACS education profession,” said Renee Ryburn, president of the association.  

As a professor in USU’s School of Applied Sciences, Technology and Education, Shirley is responsible for educating future family and consumer science teachers. Family and consumer science is the study of families, communities and their environments.

Shirley was nominated and selected for the award by fellow FCSEA members. In addition to the honors, Shirley also received a plaque and a crystal apple.

According to the association, teachers worthy of the award are those who work with individuals and organizations outside the classroom to develop projects and programs that improve FACS education. Shirley’s students said she deserves the award.  

“Dr. Shirley inspires us to think outside of the box,” said Maria Israelsen, a FCSE senior at USU. “She doesn’t set limitations, but instead pushes us to create and perform in ways other than the traditional ones.”

Challenging students and helping them succeed is what she enjoys most about teaching, Shirley said. Using a variety of techniques, Shirley works to teach her students by example.  

“She utilized teaching strategies that helped us, as students, discover information, instead of just receive information,” Isrealsen said. “She respected us as learners and recognized that even though she was the teacher, she could still learn from us.”

Shirley strives to ensure that her classrooms are creative, positive environments, and her students have noticed.

“I honestly believe what makes Dr. Shirley a great teacher is her love behind the subject,” said Larissa Nyman, another of Shirley’s students. “In a way, her love of the subject helped all of us gain a better love.” 

Related links:

Contact: Taylor Adams, (435) 797-7091,

Writer: Dawn Otterby, (435) 797-7091

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