11.06.2015
By Roanoke College News

Ackley-Holbrook honored with Rising Star Award

Dr. Elizabeth Ackley-Holbrook was honored in Richmond as the 2015 recipient of the Hiter Harris Jr. Rising Star Award.

This highly competitive award is sponsored by the Virginia Foundation of Independent Colleges (VFIC) and recognizes an "up-and-coming professor" who shows a strong, clear, and abiding commitment to excellence in classroom teaching within the undergraduate liberal arts and sciences.

"I love teaching," Ackley-Holbrook said. "I feel rewarded and rejuvenated when students experience ‘a-ha!" moments, pose sophisticated questions, and challenge ideas. As an exercise physiologist, I am among the fortunate few who are literally able to teach to each of the components of the whole person - the mind, spirit and the body. The latter of which is often neglected in higher education, yet has colossal implication on the integrity of the whole person trifecta."

“In her work with several non-profits, she and her students completed strategic plans on how to improve health and wellness in underserved Roanoke Valley neighborhoods.”

Dr. Richard Smith, vice president and dean of the college

"Students love and appreciate Liz," Dr. Matt Rearick, one of her faculty colleagues, said. "She's an academic magnet - students just find their way to her. Yet Liz sets a high bar. She's really challenging but students rise to her expectations."

Dr. Ackley-Holbrook is the second Roanoke College faculty member to receive the award in the three years it has been given. Dr. Chad Morris was the first recipient in 2013.

"Liz is strongly committed to putting her research into practice in the community," Dr. Richard Smith, vice president and dean of the college, said. "In doing so, she creates a multitude of strong service learning opportunities for our students. In her work with several non-profits, she and her students completed strategic plans on how to improve health and wellness in underserved Roanoke Valley neighborhoods."