2023 Teaching Excellence Award
Teaching Associate Professor of Philosophy
Dr. Melissa Shew’s teaching style is defined by a core principle: talking with, not at, students in her class. She aims to create an environment that both welcomes and challenges students from all backgrounds to enter into philosophical conversations and leave her class as empowered learners. Her commitment to letting students know that what they think, who they are and what they do matters has led many to praise her engagement in the classroom.
“Dr. Shew represents the epitome of Ignatian pedagogy,” said Dr. Lezlie Knox, associate professor and interim chair of philosophy. “Her teaching embraces Marquette’s mission, with human flourishing serving as her guiding principle throughout an array of classes that are constantly student-centered.”
Shew has taught a variety of courses throughout her 12 years at Marquette, ranging from introductory to upper division — including courses within the Executive MBA program — in addition to serving as a senior faculty fellow in the Center for Teaching and Learning, faculty director of the EMBA program and co-director of the Institute for Women’s Leadership.
A quote from Brazilian educator and philosopher Paulo Freire particularly resonates with Shew: “I teach because I search, because I question, and because I submit myself to questioning. I research because I notice things, take cognizance of them. And in so doing, I intervene. And intervening, I educate and educate myself.”