For the common good For the common good For the common good

Shauna Elbers Carlisle received the UW Distinguished Teaching Legacy Award for her outstanding work in and out of the classroom.

By Shin Yu Pai | Photos by Ron Wurzer | June 2024 issue

Bringing real-world examples to her courses, Shauna Elbers Carlisle, an associate professor at UW Bothell, engages her students in larger questions of social justice and encourages their community-based learning.

Elbers Carlisle, ’02, ’10, learned about community service from her parents, immigrants who helped establish an organization for the Caribbean community in Manitoba. Her parents’ civic engagement included her mother’s membership in a nurses’ union during the historic Manitoba nurses strike in response to massive government cutbacks to the health-care system. “I developed a very strong appreciation for what it means to advocate for wellness and the rights of people and the workers,” Elbers Carlisle told a UW Bothell writer.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology in Canada, Elbers Carlisle followed her interest in social work to the UW for graduate school, where she completed a master’s in social work and a Ph.D. in social welfare. The courses of study led to her current research focus on the intersection of race, ethnicity and circumstances of birth and its implication on population health and well-being. As a co-developer of a community-based learning scale, Elbers Carlisle worked with colleagues to gauge the long-term effect of community-based learning on students’ civic engagement. The Bothell campus uses the scale to measure civic engagement, self-awareness and critical thinking.

In 2023, UW Bothell gave Elbers Carlisle the Outstanding Public Service Award for her efforts both inside and outside of the classroom. “At the beginning of my career, I made the decision that my education would be used to contribute to the community’s common good,” Elbers Carlisle said at the time of the award. “UW Bothell has afforded me the opportunity to align my service with my values and desire to improve the well-being of the communities I am a part of and in service to.”

Shauna Elbers Carlisle is the 2024 recipient of the UW Distinguished Teaching Legacy Award, which recognizes the UW teachers who inspired and influenced their students long after they left their classroom.