Dr. Sarah Shields, Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is the 2021 winner of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Undergraduate Education Award. Established in 2012, the MESA Undergraduate Education Award recognizes outstanding scholarship on teaching or other material contributions to undergraduate education in Middle East studies.
Shields joined the faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill in 1993. Since then, she has developed several innovative courses in Middle East Studies; been awarded numerous grants, awards, and fellowships; and has been a leader in public scholarship and outreach activities, including working with K-12 teachers and schools.
The award announcement states (https://mesana.org/awards/awardee/mesa-undergraduate-education-award/sarah-shields):
Over several decades, Dr. Shields has employed innovative and interactive approaches to student-centered teaching about the region. Her robust teaching portfolio includes courses that introduce students to the Middle East from a variety of topical, theoretical, and regional perspectives. She has modeled the use of digital tools and platforms in promoting undergraduate student research about the Middle East. Her publications, weblogs, and presentations have specifically addressed issues, problems, and opportunities in undergraduate teaching about the Middle East. As a wide-ranging public educator, Dr. Shields has spoken to community college students, trained K-12 teachers, organized workshops on teaching about the Middle East, addressed community groups, and taught in international programs. Dr. Shields has demonstrated precisely what this award is meant to recognize: “outstanding scholarship on teaching or other material contributions to undergraduate education in Middle East Studies.”
Congratulations, Dr. Shields!