Dr. Mary Sciaraffa brings a diverse background to her new role as assistant professor at EKU. Her training includes psychology, communication studies, human development and family studies. She earned her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from Louisiana State University.
She loves teaching because she knows her work makes a difference – even beyond the classroom.
“It has always been my professional goal to offer my adult students a quality education and thus improve the quality of life for individuals and families,” she explained.
She’s passionate about her field, and she hopes her own curiosity resonates with her students. “Human development and family studies is a dynamic field, as dynamic as the individuals and families we study, with much research that has yet to be revealed,” said Sciaraffa. In her classes, learning is an engaging experience. “My basic philosophy is one of freedom – to learn, grow and make choices,” she said.
Whether she is teaching online or face-to-face, one of her primary objectives is to make connections between theory and practice. She wants her students to have practical information that is relevant to their life experiences.
An example of this is asking students to work on a mock grant to secure funding for a hypothetical nonprofit family life education program.
“They were held to the same rigorous standards as those in the field who rely on that funding to sustain their program,” she explains.
The students developed a better understanding of the professional skills needed by family life educators and enjoyed exploring the types of work they might do with their degree.
Dr. Sciaraffa began teaching CDF 132: An Introduction to the Family in spring 2017 as part of the EKU Online Child Development Program.
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