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University of the Cumberlands honors professor for teaching excellence


Dr. Sara Ash, assistant professor and chair of biology, received Cumberlands’ Excellence in Teaching Award for 2010.

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. — Each year, based on recommendations by students, faculty and staff members, University of the Cumberlands honors one faculty member with the Excellence in Teaching Award. The award is presented at the annual Faculty/Staff Dinner, and the 2010 recipient of this prestigious award is Dr. Sara Ash, assistant professor and chair of the biology department.

Ash, who completed her undergraduate studies in biology at Cumberlands and returned to teach, was also honored for ten years of service at the dinner. She received the Excellence in Teaching Award because of her zeal for learning, her thorough knowledge of her subject matter and her deep concern for the academic progress of each student.

A challenging and creative professor, her classroom extends beyond the walls of the science building, as she has led students not only on hikes to explore the local, natural environment and directed re-forestation projects on reclaimed surface mines but she has also led groups as far away as Belize in Central America. All the while, she has worked to create a burning desire to learn within her students. Ash’s hard work, her caring, and her encouragement have led several students to seek careers in field biology and conservation biology. As one colleague remarked, “the success of many students is the fruit of her commitment to teaching.”