Honoring graduate education excellence

Sharon Jansa receives University award for her impact on graduate and professional education.
March 17, 2022

With years of experience teaching, mentoring and leading in the Ecology, Evolution and Behavior graduate program, the University of Minnesota recently awarded Sharon Jansa the University’s 2021-22 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate and Professional Education. The award goes out to faculty annually who make a noted and outstanding impact on graduate and professional students at the University. 

In addition to teaching graduate courses, Jansa has served as Director of Graduate Admissions for the EEB program for more than eight years. In this role, she has helped reshape the recruitment process for the program with a focus on increasing diversity. As one of her nominators noted:

“Sharon’s willingness to step up to a sometimes-thankless administrative role like DGA is testament to her commitment to graduate education She took the role seriously and saw it for what it was: an opportunity to draw in as many brilliant new grad students as possible,  many of whom were entertaining competing offers at other excellent schools.”

Jansa joined CBS faculty in 2002 and her research focuses on mammalian systematics and biogeography, particularly around understanding individual species specialization. In addition to her work with graduate students, she also received the Stanley Dagley-Samuel Kirkwood Undergraduate Education Award from CBS in 2016 for her exceptional contributions to undergraduate education. She also serves as curator of mammals for the Bell Museum of Natural History.