Sarah Carrier, Ph.D., an associate professor of science education at the NC State College of Education, has received the NC State Alumni Association Distinguished Graduate Professorship Award.
The award recognizes outstanding graduate-level teaching across NC State University.
“It is an honor to be selected for this award. This recognition of my impact on our College of Education’s graduate program, and most importantly our students, means to me that our collective goals for preparing leaders in education are having an impact,” Carrier said. “It is my privilege to work with so many bright learners who bring enthusiasm and research that informs and enhances strong education.”
Carrier, who joined the College of Education in 2007, said her best moments as a faculty member have centered around her students. This includes helping to build a graduate program in the Teacher Education and Learning Sciences department.
“Helping build our master’s and then our doctoral programs has required years of planning, but the high level of work is matched by the tremendous rewards as our students become scholars who are making a difference in education in our state and beyond,” she said.
Carrier’s research focuses on environmental education and science instruction in outdoor learning settings to contribute to elementary students’ environmental science knowledge, attitudes and behaviors.
She is currently analyzing data from a study that examined teachers whose students participated in science instruction provided by outdoor instruction partners. She and her research assistants are finding that, in addition to learning about outdoor instruction, the teachers are importantly also learning more about their students. “Beyond sharing the wonders of nature with children, it’s important to me that we provide teachers with strategies for situating science instruction about the natural world in the outdoors,” she said.
In addition, Carrier has served as a co-principal investigator for Project ATOMS, which examined the impact of the College of Education’s unique STEM-focused elementary education program on teacher outcomes, and worked with College of Education Assistant Professor of Literacy Education Jill Grifenhagen, Ph.D., to study pre-service elementary teachers’ developing use of academic language in science instruction.