Virginia Tech Teacher of the Week
The Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER) recognizes Sarah Asebedo, assistant professor of practice of Agricultural and Applied Economics, for excellence in providing undergraduate students with in-class experiential learning opportunities that prepare them for the professional work environment.
Sarah Asebedo holds extensive experience as a professional financial planner and approaches teaching with the purpose of preparing undergraduate students in financial planning with the tools and resources they need to succeed in a professional environment. Drawing on her professional experience, Professor Asebedo has incorporated case studies and analyses common in financial planning practice within her courses.
An example of her thorough curriculum planning can be found when examining Professor Asebedo’s Retirement Planning (AAEC 4104) course. Students complete a Social Security benefit break-even analysis to evaluate when a couple should begin drawing Social Security retirement benefits. They then write a letter to the case study client articulating their recommendations. Another example of Professor Asebedo’s thoughtful planning is in her Financial Planning for Professionals (AAEC 3104) course. Students follow a client case study throughout the semester utilizing real financial planning documents, such as property and casualty insurance declaration pages and a disability insurance policy. At the end of the course, students complete a client letter articulating their thoughts and recommendations. Professor Asebedo’s teaching encompasses the entire process of financial planning, something her students find valuable as they graduate and begin their careers.
After her first year of teaching, Professor Asebedo’s impact can be felt among her graduates. As one former student says “ (Asebedo) demonstrated care for students and a commitment to accuracy -- both skills which are highly used in the financial planning profession…. I am thrilled to report that all of the projects I did in her class directly translated to the work I am doing in my first month of a full-time financial planning career.” Her relevant approach to education has made Professor Asebedo a valuable faculty member here at Virginia Tech.