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Sharon Cronk-Raby Receives EFSC Distinguished Educator Award

January 5, 2017

Assistant Professor of English Sharon Cronk-Raby has been selected as the recipient of Eastern Florida State College's Distinguished Educator of the Year award for 2017.

Distinguished Educator Award 2017
Melbourne Provost Sandy Handfield and Palm Bay Provost Dr. Wayne Stein present 2017 Distinguished Educator of the Year Sharon Cronk-Raby with a plaque and check.

Previously an adjunct instructor on the Cocoa campus, Cronk-Raby is currently a  full-time English instructor on the Melbourne campus, where she teaches courses in Composition and Service-Learning Field Studies. 

Cronk-Raby's accomplishments in the field of education have certainly not gone unnoticed; this year marks her second nomination for the Distinguished Educator Award. In recognition of her efforts to integrate service-learning into her curriculum, she was also nominated for the Florida Campus Compact Engaged Scholarship Faculty Award in 2015 and 2016, and was honored as a recipient of EFSC's Academic Discipline Peer Award (ADPA) in 2014 and 2016.

"Sharon's passion for students and dedication inside and outside the classroom are at the heart of what makes Eastern Florida a special place to learn," said Dr. Linda Miedema, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and Chief Learning Officer.  "She's among the best of the best."

A passionate writer, Cronk-Raby is currently a Cognition and Instruction PhD candidate with Grand Canyon University. Her doctoral research seeks to explore writing anxiety in K-6 students attending Brevard Public Schools, a phenomenon she also sees in EFSC students through her work as Coordinator of the Melbourne Writing Center.

"I think the biggest on-campus contribution to students, outside of my individual classroom setting, is the work I do in the Melbourne Writing Center," Cronk-Raby wrote in her award application. 

"Providing writing assistance, individually and in small groups, not only alleviates writing anxiety, but it can also greatly improve confidence and skills. By empowering student writers, critical thinking is improved and life-long learning can be fostered."

Cronk-Raby also serves as the Service-Learning Faculty Coordinator for the Melbourne campus and sits on a variety of different committees including the Melbourne Student Success Team, the QEP Steering Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee and the Melbourne Campus Hospitality Committee.

Also among the finalists for the award were Psychology Professor Marina Baratian and English Instructor Carrie Wells. First presented in 1989, the annual award recognizes an EFSC faculty member who demonstrates excellence in scholarship, instructional effectiveness and student interaction. 

Students, faculty and staff are eligible to submit nominations each year, with representatives from each ultimately coming together to form the selection committee.