Clinical PhD Student Rachel Shor Receives 2018 Wilbert J. McKeachie Teaching Excellence Award
Rachel Shor is the recipient of the 2018 Wilbert J. McKeachie Teaching Excellence Award given by the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (Division 2 of the American Psychological Association). The Wilbert J. McKeachie Teaching Excellence Award is presented in recognition of an outstanding graduate instructor who has demonstrated influence in interesting students in the field of psychology, developed effective teaching methods, exhibited outstanding performance as a classroom teacher, and maintains a professional identity as a teacher of psychology.
Rachel is a fifth-year Clinical Psychology Doctoral candidate at George Mason University (GMU). She has a clear record of striving to develop her skills as an instructor and mentor, improve the quality of psychology education within the GMU community, and to more broadly impact systemic psychological instruction through disseminating instruction-related research.
Rachel’s passion for engaging students in the field of psychology is evidenced in both her curricular and co-curricular activities. Rachel developed an Applied Cross Cultural Psychology curriculum to be implemented in-person, online, and as a study abroad course; the course highlights processes by which cultural values are instilled, with an emphasis on how stigma and stereotypes disrupt/reinforce health and well-being. In January 2016, Rachel co-led a two-week study abroad course of Applied Cross Cultural Psychology to Morocco with undergraduate students from multiple universities; this was the first time that graduate students had led a study abroad trip through GMU.
After her experience teaching psychology abroad, Rachel collaborated with George Mason’s Global Education Office to develop a training manual for other graduate students interested in leading study abroad in the field of psychology, and worked with other psychology graduate students to develop their own study abroad programs; since Rachel co-led the class in Winter 2016 and shared her experience with her Psychology department, several more pairs of Psychology graduate students have led trips abroad. Additionally, she co-authored an article in International Psychology Bulletin to highlight the benefits of graduate students teaching psychology abroad, entitled “Teaching study abroad as graduate students: reflections on applied cross-cultural psychology course in Morocco.”
During her tenure as the graduate student representative on the Undergraduate Psychology Committee at George Mason University, Rachel collaborated with faculty to improve the quality and breadth of learning opportunities for students interested in psychology courses at GMU. One example of her exemplary service that went beyond the scope of her position was to help expand the accessibility and appeal of the newly developed, popular, forensic psychology minor by working with Dr. Justin Ramsdell to create online sections of required courses.
Rachel has won several awards and received prior recognition for her teaching and clinical work. Prior to becoming a Doctoral candidate in George Mason University, Rachel earned her Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Arcadia University. In May 2011 she was awarded The Samuel M. Cameron Graduate Award for Excellence in Counseling Psychology, presented by the Counseling Psychology Department at Arcadia University for demonstrating “academic and professional excellence in the field of counseling, especially in the areas of evidence-based and multicultural practices.”
While a Doctoral Candidate at George Mason University, she has also received recognition for her work as an psychology instructor: in April 2016 she was nominated for the Career Connection Faculty Award; in May 2016 she won theOutstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award,presented by the GMU Department of Psychology; in June 2016, Rachel, along with team of instructors for Community Engagement for Social Change (PSYC 427), received the Shelter House Volunteer Award presented by Shelter House Homeless Shelter; and in Fall 2016, Rachel was recognized by the Office of Provost for Undergraduate Education for her instruction of Community Engagement (PSYC 427)which was rated as an outstanding Mason Core course by students.
Rachel is strongly committed to improving her individual skills as a teacher of psychology while concurrently striving to apply and promote psychological study. Rachel has conducted cross-sectional and longitudinal research on the transformative impact of service-learning for undergraduate students. She has also first-authored several articles on teaching psychology courses, and presented at multiple conferences, in the fields of both psychology and education, on her research evaluating the impact of a psychology service-learning course on students.