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Past Winners of the Teacher of the Week

Erika Grafsky


The Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER) recognizes Erika Grafsky, assistant professor of Human Development, for her work as a scholar who integrates teaching, research, clinical practice, and public service on behalf of the undergraduate and graduate students she teaches, both in the department of Human Development and across campus.

Dr. Grafsky’s enthusiastic and compelling approach to teaching is to incorporate scholarship and clinical practice to provide a comprehensive examination of the diversity of family relationships over the life course. Dr. Grafsky provides the academic knowledge necessary for helping students develop as emerging professionals in the helping sciences. She has taught in every venue her department offers, including undergraduate courses, graduate courses, classroom-based, online, majors only, and CLE. Her teaching expertise includes a large CLE course (HD 2304, Family Relationships); an upper division Human Development majors only course for which she developed the online version (HD 4324, Advanced Family Relationships); the traditional Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) clinical practice models course (HD 6414) for doctoral students; and the MFT doctoral practicum (HD 5964). Further, she initiated the department’s Qualitative Methods for Family Research course (HD 5714), which is open to all graduate students. Dr. Grafsky excels in all of these educational contexts. Her classes are often filled to capacity, and she receives high teaching scores. Given her ability to seamlessly integrate teaching, research, and practice, as well as the timely and critically important area of her research expertise (i.e., family relationships of sexual minority youth), she is one of the most sought after teachers and advisors in the department.

Dr. Grafsky’s expertise related to topics such as family relationships and clinical interventions among LGBTQ youth uniquely positions her to provide teaching, leadership, and service on behalf of marginalized groups. She is frequently asked to give guest lectures on this work across campus and at other universities. She has also received recognition for her teaching in diverse ways, such as the Favorite Faculty Award sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs; CIDER’s Thank a Teacher note; and recognition as a “Wonder Woman” through the VT Women’s Center. Her students are always complimentary about her teaching. For example, one of Dr. Grafsky’s advisees, has said, “Dr. Grafsky, as my teacher and mentor, has always made sure to celebrate my accomplishments while also pushing me towards my goals, making my voice important along the way.” Another one of Dr. Grafsky’s advisees states, “Dr. Grafsky’s courses have been some of the most beneficial to me thanks to the way she facilitates meaningful class discussions and incorporates experiential activities into the learning process”.


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Teacher of the Week

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A list of the past winners is available.