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October 13, 2017

Ford receives 2017 Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award

photo of Sherry FordDuring the celebration of the University of Montevallo’s 121st Founders’ Day, UM honored deserving staff, faculty and alumni for their service.  

On Oct. 12, the University of Montevallo’s National Alumni Association recognized Dr. Sherry Ford, professor of communication, with the Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award for 2017. 

Ford’s journey through academia began at Jacksonville State University in 1992, where she received her bachelor’s degree in communication and English. Ford went on to receive her master’s degree from the University of Montevallo in 1994. 

Ford received her doctorate from Louisiana State University and returned to Montevallo as an assistant professor of communication in 2003.   

Currently, Ford is a professor of communication and has remained an active member of the University community throughout her time at UM, as is evident from her membership in various University committees and councils.  

From 2006 to 2010, Ford was the College of Fine Arts Representative for the University of Montevallo Justice Council. Additionally, Ford served as Honors Program Director from 2008 to 2013, and participated in the Montevallo Ambassador Program Scholarship selection committee from 2009 to 2013. Ford was also Vice President for the Academic Affairs Search Committee in 2011.   

Ford presently serves as the communication studies program director and as a faculty representative for the McNair Program Advisory Board. 

According to her nominees, Ford often goes above and beyond for her students both in and out of the classroom.  

“Perhaps the proof that Dr. Ford is an exemplary teacher is that Her classroom lessons have stuck with me for all these years, but the proof that Dr. Ford is an exemplary person is that she has stuck with me and with so many of her students since graduation,” wrote Jefferson Walker ’08, one of Ford’s former students. 

Ford’s colleagues also recognized her dedication to the University and to the discipline of communication, recalling instances where Ford surpassed professional expectations. 

“When Dr. Ozley went on sabbatical, she volunteered to step in and teach a required major course that was new to her,” said Dr. Sally Hardig, professor of communication.  

Department of Communication Chair Dr. Randall Scott said Ford exhibited skills in her first years of teaching that many struggle for years to acquire. 

“I use her advice and her example of persistence in my career today and try to display the example she has shown for years,” said Perry Barnett ’08, a former advisee of Ford. “Her words of wisdom and suggestion to always lean forward on task still helps me navigate life after college.”  

Photo of UMNAA Founders' Day award winners

UMNAA 2017 Founders’ Day award recipients: Tonja Battle – Outstanding Staff Service Award, Michael J. Grainger – Mary Lou Elder Williams Alumnus Loyalty Award and Sherry Ford – Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award.