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Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Tricia Shelton Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

While Seton Hill University Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Tricia Shelton recently received the Black Excellence in Education Lifetime Achievement Award from the State of Black Learning, she won’t be leaving education anytime soon. 

"I feel so affirmed,” said Shelton, who also serves as Director of Field Placement for Seton Hill’s School of Education. “I try really hard in my classroom to make every student – whether they are a first grader or a freshman – feel that they are seen and heard. It’s a lifetime achievement award, but I’m not done yet so it has reignited my passion to work to effect change in education.”

Shelton, who received the award on August 12 as part of the State of Black Learning Conference in Pittsburgh, has spent 25 years teaching at the elementary and collegiate level. The honor was awarded by State of Black Learning, an organization designed to increase educator effectiveness and provide the tools necessary to help address all of the factors that improve student outcomes and help Black children learn in the greater Pittsburgh region. 

“Tricia Shelton is an outstanding educator who skillfully imparts the knowledge and experience she has gained in 25 years in the classroom on future generations of teachers,” said Seton Hill University Provost Susan Yochum, SC, Ph.D. “She is so very deserving of the Black Excellence in Education Lifetime Achievement Award, and all of us at Seton Hill congratulate her on this accomplishment.”

“An innovative educator in the classroom, Tricia Shelton has also served the Seton Hill community in variety of institutional capacities, including as a co-chair of the Eva Fleischner Truth Finding Committee,” said Seton Hill President Mary C. Finger, Ed.D. “Tricia has been engaged in important work to help faculty develop curriculum and programming that ensure students engage in rigorous analysis and transparent dialogue across the curriculum so that they may be better informed citizens.”

Shelton, of Monroeville, Pa., said she knew she wanted to be a teacher from a young age. 

“My mother was a teacher and her mother was a teacher, so I am in the family business,” Shelton said. “Education has always had a tremendous value in our family.”

Shelton spent a lot of time during her childhood in her mother’s classroom, and “fell in love with the ability to be able to help and be in service to others.”

Early in her career, Shelton taught in her actual third grade elementary classroom at Evergreen Elementary in the Gateway School District with her third grade teacher as her mentor. 

“I always feel really blessed to have so many people in my career who have supported me,” she said. 

Shelton spent 18 years at Gateway as a first grade teacher and elementary administrator before moving on to higher education. She taught at Indiana University of Pennsylvania for five years before joining the faculty of Seton Hill in 2020. 

“I always felt a passion and a calling to be in higher education,” Shelton said. “I wanted to have an impact on the teaching and learning philosophies of preservice teachers. I also wanted young people going into the field to realize it’s really challenging work. You have to have a strong sense of resiliency, and I work to help them build that resiliency.”

At Seton Hill, Shelton teaches first year education courses and also works directly with student teachers. 

“I get a chance to see students when they first get here and when they leave and see the growth in real time,” she said. “I believe Seton Hill students have such a wonderful sense of purpose. The students I work with are always very vested in their understanding of why they want to be a teacher.”

And Shelton remains a resource to her students after they graduate and start leading their own classrooms. 

“I really feel like no teacher should feel like an independent contractor – it’s about building relationships,” she said. “We’re all in this together.”


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