Congratulations to Heather Schoenherr, College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Faculty of Distinction for March 2021. Schoenherr is an Associate Professor of Psychology and one of the College’s founding faculty members.
“It has been quite an adventure growing and changing with CWI,” Schoenherr said. “When we first started, we were small enough for faculty and administrators to attend meetings all together. Meetings were so lively because we were all answering the question, ‘What do you want this college to be?’"
Dedicating her career to creating opportunities for students to discover their potential and build their strengths, Schoenherr regularly volunteers her time and talents to directly influence the experience of students at CWI. This includes serving as the Psychology Club and Psi Beta Honor Society advisor, leading the annual President's Writing Awards, mentoring research assistants, and working to build a research bridge for CWI’s Psychology students with Boise State University. In addition, she serves as a liaison for the Institutional Review Board at The College of Idaho and serves on the National Council for Psi Beta.
“I was fortunate to have outstanding mentors while I was in college. Their dedication to my success and belief in my ability is why I became a teacher. I feel fortunate to do the same for others. As professors, it is easy to believe in students. The challenge is getting students to believe in themselves. I have found it is essential to create opportunities for students to shine to build the confidence to continue their education.”
“Heather is the epitome of what is excellent at CWI,” said Associate Professor, Stephanie Ritchie Breach. “She is an engaged faculty member who is always striving to provide the best opportunities for her students. I am constantly impressed with how purposeful Heather is in all areas of her teaching—from normalizing academic challenges for her students, to instilling a growth mindset, to continual research and preparation for her courses. Heather is not only teaching her students about psychology but also helping them develop skills that will help them be successful in whatever path they pursue.”
“Because of CWI, I am inspired every day,“ Schoenherr said. “My colleagues and students are always teaching me something new and push me to be the best educator and human I can be.”
Schoenherr loves exploring the foothills and is an avid non-fiction reader. When not grading or teaching, she can often be found researching about aspects of teaching or psychology.
“How lucky am I that I enjoy my job so much it can be a hobby?! My non-working hours are mostly filled with the beautiful chaos of my 3- and 4-year-olds. I am fortunate to have a supportive partner cheering me on with each step of my journey.”