Make a Difference Award
Dr. Sherrilyn Bernier has profoundly affected her students with her support and encouragement while attending Goodwin.
In recognition, the student body cast their votes and Human Services professor, Dr. Sherrilyn Bernier, has been announced as the recipient of this prestigious award.
The Make a Difference Award is given to a faculty or staff member who has positively impacted Goodwin College students and who has made the most difference in their lives.
Currently an Assistant Professor at Goodwin College and an adjunct at the University of Hartford, the University of St. Joseph, and St. Vincent’s College, Bernier has an obvious passion for teaching and has made a difference in the lives of many.
Former student, Kara Lewis, recalls Bernier’s compassionate yet firm teaching style. “Dr. Bernier is the kind of teacher that will not accept failure because she has a strong belief in her students and their abilities. She is the kind of professor that gives you no choice but to succeed. Goodwin College is lucky to have such a great woman and professor.”
President of Goodwin College, Mark Scheinberg, acknowledged her impact at the awards ceremony in which she received her award. “She has been instrumental in providing her students opportunities. She is one-of-a-kind teacher, full of life experiences and knowledge, who genuinely cares about them.”
Bernier includes self-esteem building in her teaching not only in one’s self but in the future clients they will be working with in the human services field. “I completely understand the students at Goodwin. I want to give them the encouragement to continue. My goal is to build their confidence and self-esteem no matter what I’m teaching. The most important goal for me at Goodwin is that my students succeed,” Bernier stated.
Bernier has worked in the human services, healthcare, and social services field for over 20 years. She started out at Tunxis Community College and continued her education at Central Connecticut State University where she received a Bachelor’s in Sociology with a minor in Psychology in 1998 and a Master’s in Counseling with a specialty in Community Rehab in 2001. In 2006, Bernier received a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Hartford.
Bernier is very involved in the Goodwin community. She was elected Vice President for the New England Organization for Human Services and is a member of the Academic Affairs Committee, chair of a sub-committee on the Facilities and Technology Committee, and secretary for the Faculty Senate.
Bernier believes everyone can make a difference. “Find a need in the community and have a passion. That’s how Women Achieving Voices of Empowerment (WAVE) was created.”
WAVE is a women’s group that is meant to build self-esteem and empower women. Having struggled in high school and attended college at the age of 26 with a two-year-old while working full-time she understands this demographic. “About 85% of Goodwin’s population is women. I saw struggle and I wanted to make it easier for the student and female population. If I don’t use my struggles in a positive way then it was for not.”