Political Science Professor Sherri Wallace has her favorite quote atop her CV: “She who learns, teaches.”
Last month, the YMCA of Greater Louisville recognized Wallace for her work teaching, along with Marian Vasser, UofL’s director of diversity education and inclusive excellence. The two women were honored as Black Achievers by the organization, along with 25 others in the community.
Wallace, who earned her master’s degree and PhD from Cornell University, joined the Department of Political Science at UofL in 2006. She is the first and only African American woman to earn tenure and promotion to full professor in her department.
Among her many achievements, Wallace has been selected as a faculty favorite, as the recipient of the Anna Julia Cooper Teacher of the Year Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists, and the recipient of the Grawemeyer Award for Outstanding Instructional Design.
Wallace was recently selected to participate in the Council on Postsecondary Education and was one of 19 people selected to participate in the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education annual Leadership and Mentoring Institute.
Vasser joined UofL more than 25 years ago as a temp in HR and then worked her way through Physical Plant, the Controller’s Office, the Career Center, the UofL Football program and the James Graham Brown Cancer Center. She eventually chose to follow her passion and pursue a job in social justice, working as the diversity program coordinator in the College of Arts & Sciences.
Vasser went on to earn her master’s degree in Higher Education Administration in 2015 and, in July 2016, she was named to her current role. Since, she has conducted hundreds of diversity training workshops all over campus and throughout the community. Her training is used by JCPS, the Center for Women and Families, the Kentuckiana Prevention Network, UPS, Humana, Leadership Louisville and more.
The YMCA of Greater Louisville’s Black Achievers program held its 40th annual celebration of achievement on Feb. 23. In addition to Wallace and Vasser, the ceremony also recognized high school seniors who have completed the program, as well as the Youth Achiever of the Year – Alyssia Leach, a senior at DuPont Manual – and the Adult Achiever of the Year – Dawne Gee, Wave 3 News anchor and UofL alum.