Melisa Littleton, assistant teaching professor and program coordinator for rehabilitation and human services at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, was awarded the University College Faculty Teaching Award for 2020-21. Littleton was selected out of a competitive group of talented candidates for her continued excellence and commitment to education.
The University College Teaching Award is given annually to a university college faculty member (full-time or part-time) who demonstrates excellence within the institution. The award is given in recognition of an intellectually demanding and rigorous curriculum; innovative teaching practices that result in student engagement, student satisfaction and effectiveness in achieving desired learning outcomes; commitment to students’ academic development, intellectual growth and lifetime learning; and providing positive and lasting impact on students by promoting critical reading, thinking and writing. The award recipient receives a plaque and a $1,000 stipend.
Littleton began her teaching career at Misericordia University before joining the Penn State Wilkes-Barre faculty.
“I started teaching in the psychology department at Misericordia University in 2011, right after I graduated with my master’s degree in community counseling (now known as clinical mental health counseling) from the University of Scranton,” she said. “During my time as a graduate student, I worked as a graduate assistant, and that is when I got involved in teaching. I had a great experience working as a teaching assistant as part of my position, and I wanted to continue teaching after I graduated.” It was there that she fell in love with being an educator.
“After a few years there, I came across the job posting at Penn State Wilkes-Barre for their new Rehabilitation and Human Services program. I was so excited to interview for the position. It was the job of my dreams,” she said.
Littleton is now in her seventh year with Penn State Wilkes-Barre.