Ackley recognized as one of Virginia’s top teachers for 2022


“Students and colleagues describe Ackley’s approach to teaching as dynamic and lively. It facilitates learning by using unique materials, technologies and industry leaders as mediums to immerse students in critical inquiry and engage students in learning with purpose… Ackley’s student assessments are always among the highest at Roanoke College. Students applaud the balance she establishes between high expectations and support, describing an indefatigable passion for her field, for integrating domain-related knowledge into other disciplinary contexts and for supporting students from diverse backgrounds of a personal and productive way… A consummate model of living with purpose, Dr. Ackley presents himself – in teaching and in life – with a drive for integrity to change the world that both excites and emboldens his students.


Ackley maintains two productive axes of discovery: the first to identify and address health disparities at the community level, and the second to provide students with high impact experiential learning opportunities in their own undergraduate research. Ackley’s primary research is to identify and address health disparities at the community level. Dr. Ackley has developed a novel health surveillance methodology to identify geographic inequalities in social, environmental and economic factors contributing to health disparities in children. His surveillance system, the Roanoke Valley Community Healthy Living Index , has since grown into one of the largest and most successful translational research models of its kind. … She has been recognized as an emerging leader in the field and her work has been featured in Government Finance Review and Appalachian Journal of Public Health and lauded by the National League of Cities and the American Planners Association of Virginia.… Dr. Ackley promotes student access to high impact experiential learning opportunities by promoting best practice mentoring in research undergraduate studies in institutional contexts, academic disciplines and in response to the diverse needs of students ts (supporting underrepresented students, students of color, and first generation students in particular). In collaboration with a multidisciplinary team of researchers, Dr. Ackley established the “Top Ten Practices of Undergraduate Research Mentors” and developed resources to advance the educational and professional development of faculty through undergraduate research mentorship. . “

Said Kavya Iyer ’22, “Dr. Ackley fosters a collaborative, interdisciplinary team of students of different majors, with diverse perspectives, to tackle issues that everyone is proud to be a part of. an amazing mentor. She takes the time to know what our future career plans and goals are and helps us target weaknesses to make us more competitive for future endeavors. “

Logan Newton ’13 said: “Dr Ackley saw me when I was invisible because I didn’t understand how to speak. She helped me find something that no textbook could ever offer: the confidence that I still lacked. “

Knowledge integration

“Dr. Ackley has led a number of efforts to bring together traditionally disparate academic disciplines, higher education institutions and community partners to develop experiential learning opportunities for students who mimic the real world. – it does so by bringing together partners around a shared equity program informed by it first line of discovery.

… Working with partners at Virginia Tech University and Hollins University, Ackley co-designed the Small Cities Institute, an interdisciplinary partnership of students and faculty collaborating to solve local and regional challenges.

A service

Dr. Ackley’s service accomplishments are far-reaching and exemplify her ability to apply her knowledge and expertise in broad contexts. In addition to strengthening her professional reputation through service to her academic community, she has advanced Roanoke College’s institutional goals, its standing within the community, and its quest to become one of the top 100 liberal arts colleges… Her most visual service contribution came to fruition in 2018 when, on her own, she founded, funded and institutionalized the Center for Community Health Innovation at Roanoke College, developing new pathways to experiential learning opportunities for students through internships, service-oriented research opportunities and special projects with partners community… Dr. Ackley’s commitment to building and sustaining multisectoral partnerships to advance its core he Discovery Line has positioned Roanoke College as a neutral foothold in the community and as a national model.

According to Dr. Matthew Rearick, chair of the Department of Health and Human Performance, “What separates Liz’s work from others across the state is how she manages to merge everything she does into a lawsuit without. fault. It is virtually impossible to see where one of its academic areas ends and another begins. It is a gift she gives to her students, colleagues and the community.

About Mark A. Tomlin

Check Also

UMass Amherst Receives Second Prize in NSF Taking Action: COVID-19 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Challenge: UMass Amherst

For its efforts to support faculty during the pandemic, UMass Amherst received second place in …