A good college education helps a student build the skills, knowledge and abilities to succeed in their chosen career. A great college experience, however, also gives students the opportunity to make connections with faculty that are committed to helping them realize their potential, both personally and professionally.
Two Clemson University Honors College and National Scholars Program faculty – Professors Sarah Winslow and Jeffrey Fine – were both recognized with top University awards last spring for their commitment to helping students grow and succeed.
Winslow, a professor of sociology, senior associate director of the Clemson Honors College and director of the National Scholars Program, received the Ted Westmoreland Faculty Excellence Award, which honors a distinguished faculty member who has made exemplary contributions to undergraduate student success.
Fine, professor of political science and director of the Honors College’s Dixon Global Policy Scholars Program, received the Provost Outstanding Senior Teacher Award for sustained, meritorious and exceptional teaching.
The College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences is extremely proud of Drs. Winslow and Fine and the great work they are doing. We are fortunate to have them in our college to teach and mentor the next generation of changemakers.Leslie Hossfeld, Dean, College of behavioral, social and health sciences
Winslow’s and Fine’s impacts on student success are seen throughout the University.
Winslow’s research and teaching interests focus on social inequality, particularly how gender operates in a variety of institutions. She is deeply involved in the undergraduate experience at Clemson, previously serving as undergraduate coordinator for the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice and faculty-in-residence for the Honors Living-Learning Community.
Over the past eight years, she has dedicated her work to the personal, academic and professional development of students across the university through her roles in the Honors College and National Scholars Program.
In the Honors College, she is responsible for curriculum development and innovation, experiential learning and inclusive excellence, having most recently developed a thematic first-year seminar program for incoming Honors students. As director of the National Scholars Program, she recruits, mentors, teaches and advises Clemson’s highest-achieving students, building an inclusive community of scholar-leaders who critically examine their place in the world and use their talents to serve.
Alumna and former National Scholar Ronnie Clevenstine (‘22) said that Winslow immediately fostered a sense of belonging and community for her at Clemson that she didn’t feel she had In her community back home.
“That sense of belonging set the tone throughout my four years at Clemson,” said Clevenstine, who developed and led several programs and initiatives focused on ensuring all of her fellow students could access basic needs, all while navigating an academic institutional structure that was foreign to her.
Winslow became Clevenstine’s guide, mentor and sounding board.
“We have similar backgrounds in a lot of ways in that neither of us grew up in these professional academic environments, and she has taught me a lot about how to traverse these institutional spaces,” said Clevenstine. “We have traversed institutional and bureaucratic endeavors together, and we would often have shared moments of reflection afterwards where we would strategize an improvement/reform to a situation or just share our thoughts on ways forward.”
Clevenstine went on to distinguish herself inside and outside of the classroom, becoming one of Clemson University’s most decorated students. She became a Duckenfield Scholar, Dixon Global Policy Scholar and 2021 Truman Scholar, and was a finalist for both the 2022 Marshall and Rhodes scholarships.
Clevenstine was also the recipient of the 2022 Martin Luther King Jr. Excellence in Service Award, 2022 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Student Award and 2021 Matt Locke Leadership Award.
She is now working with MEF Associates, a social policy research firm, before working towards her Ph.D.
Reflecting back on her Clemson experience, Clevenstine said that she cherishes Winslow’s respect of the work she did as an individual, beyond the traditional mentor/mentee relationship.
“I have learned so much from the way she approaches work, research, relationships, community and beyond,” said Clevenstine. “Working with Dr. Winslow will dramatically transform the way you think about yourself, your context and the ways your intersectional identity interacts with the good you can do with the world.”
Fine teaches courses and publishes research related to American politics, mentors dozens of honors theses and co-leads the Honors College’s Dixon Global Policy Scholars program with Executive Director William Lasser. Fine also worked extensively with the AP U.S. Government and Politics course, helping shape its college-level curriculum and co-chairing the committee that writes the AP exam taken for college credit at institutions nationwide.
Political science major, Honors student, and National Scholar Riley Stotzky has taken several classes taught by Fine. She most recently travelled to Paris with Fine and Lasser through the Dixon Global Policy Scholars Program, which brings students from different majors together to discuss broader policy issues.
According to Stotzky, Fine has played a critical role in her professional and personal growth, and he became a trusted mentor soon after she arrived on campus to start her degree.
“When I first came to Clemson I had very little awareness of the ways in which my academic passions would be shaped by the Political Science Department,” said Stotzky. “Dr. Fine not only exposed me to the diversity of paths I could take through political science but also how to identify what I’m truly passionate about and strive to make real impacts in the world around me.”
She said Fine is extremely deserving of being recognized as an outstanding teacher because he inspires his students to be curious, passionate, and driven world leaders, regardless of the career they choose after they graduate.
“Every single student I know that has taken one of his classes always raves about him,” said Stotzky. “I don’t know if it’s possible to put into words the impact having Dr. Fine as a professor and mentor has had on my college experience. Simply put, Dr. Fine is the best professor I have ever had.”
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