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Past Winners of the Teacher of the Week

Sara Jordan


The Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER) recognizes Sara Jordan, assistant professor of Public Administration and Policy, for being mindful of the class and work-life demands that her students have while taking classes to complete their Masters or PhDs.

Dr. Jordan teaches graduate level classes, all consisting of adult learners, typically mixing rigorous study with extraordinarily exciting and demanding careers. That her students work hard, running university, local, state and federal government offices during the day and take her classes at night "inspires her to want to work harder for them." She is fortunate enough to teach both research classes and ethics classes, in addition to specialized courses pertinent to new research topics. When constructing a course, Dr. Jordan works with colleagues to identify core components all students need in order to succeed in other courses and in the program as a whole. Since her courses are foundational and skills-­based courses, Dr. Jordan tries to keep in mind what her colleagues need their students to know in order to succeed in advanced courses. In each of her courses, Dr. Jordan devotes two weeks to something new and and novel, whether this is a new skill or a new topic. As she says, "This means that I am learning along with them, which can be both frustrating and exciting. I think it is important to remember the frustration of learning new things on a compressed time schedule so that I can appreciate the student’s experience."

Dr Jordan had the opportunity to teach Normative Foundations of Public Administration, a PhD level course in ethics for public officials. She says being asked to teach this class was a "real honor" because "it is the flagship course of my program (Center for Public Administration and Policy), which is known worldwide as a specialist in ethics in government." Prior to coming to Center, Dr. Jordan worked at the University of Hong Kong in the Department of Politics & Public Administration and also for the Graduate School, leading the Research Ethics program for Post-Graduate Students. Her work appears in a variety of venues, including “Public Management Review”, “International Review of Administrative Sciences”, “Accountability in Research”, and “Science and Engineering Ethics” among others. Dr. Jordan also received CIDER's Virginia Tech Early Career Teaching Certificate in 2015


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