Garrone-Shufran, Winston School Professor, Wins Roddy Award

An associate professor in the Winston School of Education and Social Policy, Stephanie Garrone-Shufran was nominated by both students and peers for the 2024 edition of Merrimack College’s teacher of the year award.
Merrimack College Roddy Award winner Stephanie Garrone-Shufran

Associate Professor Stephanie Garrone-Shufran will be the first to admit the courses she teaches, while important, are not necessarily the most sought-after by students. 

She predominantly teaches graduate students, and with the courses being at night, the students are coming to campus after a full day of work, family and other responsibilities. So Garrone-Shufran was shocked to learn she was the recipient of the 2024 Edward G. Roddy, Jr. Award, which is presented annually to Merrimack College’s teacher of the year.

“Since I mostly teach graduate students, we have a very short time period to build relationships with them,” explained Garrone-Shufran, who is part of the faculty in the Winston School of Education and Social Policy and an expert in English as a second language education. “It is really surprising and an honor that they felt strongly enough to nominate me.”

Presented annually to a Merrimack faculty member who goes above and beyond in the classroom, the Roddy Award was established in 1985 by then Merrimack College President Rev. John E. Deegan, O.S.A., to recognize and celebrate Merrimack’s teachers. The first award was presented to Edward G. Roddy, Jr. in appreciation of his 25 years of service to the College.

Nominations from students for Garrone-Shufran highlighted her engagement and energy in the classroom, her approachability and care for students, as well as her expertise.

“My teaching style focuses on interactions between myself and the students as well as between the students themselves,” she said. “I don’t want to stand up there talking for two hours straight. People’s attention spans are short so there are a lot of interactions.”

A self-described lover of language, Garrone-Shufran said she sought to work with English learners because she wanted to use language to help others. She started at Merrimack College in the fall of 2017 and noted her teaching style has evolved over the past six years. 

She says she takes all student feedback to heart and works to incorporate it in some way into her courses. More and more, she has included current events because much of it impacts the English learners these teachers will have in their classrooms.

“This is the climate these teachers are going to be a part of,” Garrone-Shufran noted. “And it is part of their job to be a voice and advocate for all of their students, but especially English learners.”

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