Watson Chronicle


Watson College News

Michele Parker Receives Graduate Mentor, Teaching Excellence Awards

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Michele Parker, professor in WCE’s Department of Educational Leadership, has received UNCW’s Graduate Mentor Award. The Graduate School presents the award annually to an outstanding faculty mentor who places high value on and excels in mentoring graduate students.

Parker is also the 2019-20 Watson College of Education recipient of the Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award. The awards were presented at UNCW’s annual fall faculty meeting on September 10 and announced in a UNCW home page story on September 11, Challenging, Inspiring and Sustaining: Faculty Honored with Annual Awards.

“Michele is an outstanding leader of learners because she is an excellent student of learning,” said Watson College Dean Van Dempsey. “She brings a well-honed and critical perspective to her pedagogical work, with the needs and interests of her students always at the center. Michele is a passionate advocate for students, and a strong voice for making sure the Watson College and UNCW always see our work through their eyes and experiences.”

Parker joined the Educational Leadership faculty at the Watson College in 2008 after earning her doctorate in research, statistics, and evaluation from the University of Virginia. At UNCW, Parker has co-led the development of five new academic programs including WCE’s masters and doctoral specializations in higher education and the Master of Science in Evaluation and Organizational Learning, introduced in fall 2020. Her teaching responsibility includes courses at the heart of graduate studies—research methodology. Parker is an outstanding teacher, noted for creative application of pedagogy in online and hybrid environments. Academically and professionally, she inspires, challenges and supports students. She has successfully mentored former masters and doctoral students who serve in leadership positions in schools and universities across the state and nation. Notably, she has chaired thirteen graduate committees at the doctoral level and fourteen at the master’s level.

Given her expertise, Dr. Parker intentionally works with doctoral students who have almost reached the maximum amount of time allowed for program completion to ensure they graduate.

“In college and beyond, I wanted to be an excellent mentor like the faculty and staff who positively impacted my personal, social and academic development,” Parker said. “Hence, receiving recognition for outstanding teaching and mentoring is humbling and an honor.”