Jessica Collett, an associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology, has been chosen to receive the 2017 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award.
The highest teaching honor in the College of Arts and Letters, the Sheedy Award was created in 1970 to honor Rev. Charles E. Sheedy, C.S.C., who served as dean of Arts and Letters from 1951 to 1969.
Collett will accept the award at a reception in her honor in December.
“It was a tremendous honor to be selected, and I am truly touched by the colleagues and students who took the time to nominate me,” she said. “I so admire and respect the colleagues who have received this award over the years — and many other amazing professors in the College who have not yet been recognized, but from whom I have learned so much.”
Collett, who joined the faculty of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters in 2006, holds a concurrent appointment in the Gender Studies Program. She is also a faculty fellow in the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and a faculty affiliate of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society, the Environmental Change Initiative, the GLOBES graduate training program in environment and society, and the poverty studies interdisciplinary minor.
A social psychologist, Collett studies small group processes, identity, and the relationship between the two. She uses diverse methodological approaches, employing social psychological concepts and theories in the study of family, religion, work, and education. She is a co-author of a leading textbook in her field, Social Psychology, and her research has been published in the American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Social Science Research, and the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, among others.
“From the moment I became a sociology major, I knew I wanted to teach the subject. Even if they aren’t sociology majors, I want my students to be as excited about the topics as I am and to see sociology’s relevance to the worlds they inhabit.”
Collett is currently examining graduate student professionalization, the sociological sources and implications of imposter syndrome, and the effects of changing conceptions of fatherhood.
In the classroom, Collett said she hopes to inspire the same passion she feels for sociology in her students.
“From the moment I became a sociology major, I knew I wanted to teach the subject,” she said. “But when I decided to pursue my Ph.D. and do that as a professor, I wasn’t sure I would do it ‘right.’ After trying a more esoteric approach for a couple semesters, I gave up and just started teaching from the heart.
“Even if they aren’t sociology majors, I want my students to be as excited about the topics as I am and to see sociology’s relevance to the worlds they inhabit.”
That authentic approach to teaching is one of the reasons Collett was selected to receive the Sheedy Award.
In a nomination letter, one of her former graduate students wrote that she exhibits a “mix of compassion, interest, creativity, and honesty that makes her an excellent teacher and mentor.”
Originally published by al.nd.edu on April 19, 2017.at