SALISBURY, N.C. – Dr. Sherry Stancliff, a faculty member in the occupational therapy assistant program, has been selected as the recipient of the 2021-2022 Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Excellence in Teaching Award. The annual award recognizes superior faculty members who go above and beyond expected levels of instruction and elevate educational excellence and student success.

Stancliff, who joined the Rowan-Cabarrus faculty in 2018, is a graduate of Towson University with a Bachelor of Science degree in occupational therapy and Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Maryland, with an Associate of Arts degree. After working as an occupational therapist for over 30 years, she returned to the classroom, earning her post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree from Chatham University in Pittsburgh.

While raising her two children, she experienced firsthand the challenge of making learning fun. “My children taught me patience and perseverance as they both worked hard to learn and go to college to earn their bachelor’s degrees,” Stancliff said, adding that working in the public school system for 15 years reinforced her understanding of diverse learners and how to adjust teaching methods to meet individual needs.

“In occupational therapy, I learned the key to achieving positive outcomes was building connections with my client and their family,” Stancliff said. “I see the classroom as a place to create a relationship and challenge students to learn. Overall, I see myself as a coach who instructs, offers feedback, and provides strategically designed learning to create the next generation of occupational therapy assistants.”

The Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Excellence in Teaching Award provides a way to recognize faculty members who consistently demonstrate excellence in teaching, dedication to student success and the mission of the college, and whose contributions go above and beyond the standard expectations.

Students initiate the nomination process for the award annually by recommending their top instructors. Final nominees are required to submit an extensive portfolio, letters of recommendation and complete an unannounced, filmed observation.

“Dr. Sherry Stancliff is a shining example of our commitment to hiring highly qualified and dedicated faculty,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “Her passion and professionalism are critical elements in preparing our occupational therapy assistant graduates to serve their patients with excellence.”

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit or call 704-216-RCCC (7222).