Psychology lecturer Schreier is 2013 Golden Apple Award recipient


By Emily Fontenot and James Iseler
Mar 15, 2013

Shelly Schreier, a lecturer IV in the Department of Psychology, LSA, has been selected as the 2013 recipient of the Golden Apple Award.

Schreier said she was about 20 minutes into her Psychology 353: Social Development class Wednesday morning when a student raised his hand to ask a question.

"He asked, 'What do Ralph Williams, Bruce Conforth and Shelly Schreier have in common?' I paused for a moment, took a deep breath and said, 'I don't know.' At which point he said, 'You're all Golden Apple recipients at the university,'" she said. "It's an incredible honor and pleasure to get this award from the students."

Created by Students Honoring Outstanding University Teaching, the Golden Apple Award is co-sponsored by more than 30 university departments and programs. It honors faculty members who seek to continuously engage their students in the classroom. It is the only teaching award at U-M given by students.

Schreier, who was nominated by students in her Introduction to Psychology and Social Development classes, has studied the relationships of siblings, as well as child development and psychopathology. She also has collaborated in publications regarding the impact of divorce on children.

Regarded by many of her students, past and present, as not only helpful and enthusiastic but also humorous, Schreier said one of the things she teaches is that work satisfaction is a predictor of life happiness. She said she takes great satisfaction from teaching at U-M, and tries to inspire her students to seek that same level of satisfaction.

The concept of the Golden Apple Award was inspired by Rabbi Eliezer ben Hurkanos, a teacher of Jewish tradition more than 18 centuries ago, who said, "Get your life in order one day before you die." Following the suggestion to live every day as if it were their last, each Golden Apple recipient is asked to give a lecture they would want to give if they believed it would be the last of their teaching careers.

Schreier said that while she certainly hopes the Golden Apple lecture won't be her last, she wants it to be meaningful and relevant. The topic will be announced prior to the lecture April 4 at Rackham Auditorium. Doors will open at 7 p.m. and seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Read more coverage and view video at Ann Arbor.com.