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The Provost’s 2023 Outstanding Teaching Awards: Lynda Sharrett-Field

By Dani Jaffe 

A portrait of a professor.
Lynda Sharrett-Field

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 15, 2023) – Lynda Sharrett-Field, associate professor in the University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences’ Department of Psychology, is one of 10 winners to receive the University of Kentucky’s 2022-23 Outstanding Teaching Awards.

These awards identify and recognize individuals who demonstrate special dedication to student achievement and who are successful in their teaching. Recipients were selected through nomination and reviewed by a selection committee based in the UK Provost’s Office for Faculty Advancement and the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching.

“I’m extremely honored to receive this award. I feel it recognizes not only my efforts but the efforts of those who supported me on my journey to where I am today,” Sharrett-Field said. “As an instructor, I try to pay forward the kindness I received by offering support, perspective and guidance to my students.”

Sharrett-Field returned to college in her mid-30s as a single mother and first-generation college student with the aspiration of completing her bachelor’s degree, earning her Ph.D., and eventually becoming a tenured professor, which she achieved shortly after turning 50. She teaches classes in psychology, neuroscience and serves as the director of Undergraduate Studies for the neuroscience major. Sharrett-Field has around 400 students every academic year and teaches several critical classes to undergraduate students.

“I love my area of teaching because it allows me the opportunity to discuss a wide variety of topics with students,” Sharrett-Field said. “And a lot of my teachings allow for both academic and personal growth in the students. It’s my hope that this type of personal exploration allows them to become better educated citizens and, perhaps more importantly, better stewards of their future.”

Sharrett-Field truly believes in the outstanding power of mentorship. This is what drives the greatness in her teachings every single day.

“I wouldn’t have achieved my goals without the help of faculty mentors, family and friends,” Sharrett-Field said. “So, in paying it forward, I also share my story with my students so they can see that each of us walk our own path and that none of our goals are out of reach.”

This year’s Outstanding Teaching Awards were given to seven faculty and three graduate teaching assistants. Each winner received an award certificate, a commemorative engraved gift and a cash award in recognition of their teaching excellence.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.