Dr. Kris Sealey, receives CAS Award for Distinguished Teaching

Submitted by Carolyn Arnold on December 5, 2012

Dr. Kris Sealey, assistant professor of philosophy, was honored last semester with the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award for her commitment to and passion for teaching. Faculty members who nominated Dr. Sealey noted that in the six years since she came to Fairfield University, she has distinguished herself by enriching the philosophy curriculum and for her dedication to her students.

Since she began teaching at Fairfield Dr. Sealey, who received her Ph.D. from the University of Memphis, has created many opportunities for students to bring theory into practice through campus activism. The Philosophy Department noted in her citation that she “has so enriched our academic program that it seems impossible to remember how we managed without her.” Dr. Sealey added to the selection of classes by offering Critical Race Theory and created many opportunities for students to interact with notable visiting scholars and speakers.

She has taught in the Academic Immersion program each summer, which prepares students from historically under-represented populations transition to college primed for success. She has had articles published in the Journal of Cultural and Religious Theory and Levinas Studies, An Annual Review. In 2010 she received the Anna Julia Cooper Writing Fellowship from Pennsylvania State University and the Hillary Johnson Memorial Graduate Student Instructor Award in 2005.

Dr. Steven Bayne, the Chair of the Philosophy Department, said, “Kris Sealey has been a wonderful colleague. It has been rewarding watching her develop into an outstanding teacher and an accomplished scholar. Rather than lecturing, Kris structures her classes around discussion. Although this is the most fruitful way for students to become engaged in philosophy, it requires a good deal of skill to be successful. Kris has an excellent rapport with her students — she is able to draw them into the conversation, and her interactions with them (whether reinforcing a good answer, or getting a student to reflect on and revise a less fruitful answer) keep them engaged.”

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