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Alum wins Presidential Award
April 13, 1998

Relating scientific principles to everyday life is important in the teaching of science, says Julia Sherman, a UConn alumna and recipient of a 1997 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching.

The award, established in 1983 by the White House and presented by the National Science Foundation, recognizes teachers who are leaders in improving mathematics and science education.

Sherman was selected for the award for applying scientific principles to the daily activities of life and adopting an open-minded approach to science teaching and learning.

"Science teaching is a dynamic and challenging profession. Every school day is a new experience and requires change in the style of teaching to be more effective," she says.

Sherman earned a bachelor's degree in science education from St. John's University in 1969. At UConn she earned a master's degree in ecology and evolutionary biology in 1988, and a sixth-year certificate in educational leadership in 1994. She taught chemistry, biology and general science at Coventry High School for 11 years before joining E.O. Smith High School in 1988.

Sherman says she owes a lot to the faculty who taught her at UConn. "The inspiration I received from outstanding faculty who are on the cutting edge of research is one of the major factors contributing toward my accomplishments in science teaching," Sherman says.

The award includes a $7,500 grant to be used to improve school science programs for staff development, and a presidential citation that will be awarded at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on June 16.

Usha R. Palaniswami