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Outstanding Professor Award: Winifred Schultz-Krohn

Photo: Thomas Sanders, '15 MFA Photography

Photo: Thomas Sanders, ’15 MFA Photography

The Outstanding Professor Award recognizes a faculty member for overall excellence in academic assignment. This year’s winner comes from the College of Applied Sciences and Arts.

She will be honored at the 15th Annual Faculty Service Recognition and Awards Luncheon on March 11, 2014. Tickets are available for purchase.

“Even as an undergraduate, I wanted to teach occupational therapy,” says SJSU Professor Winifred Schultz-Krohn, recipient of this year’s Outstanding Professor Award. “The idea of working with individuals to discover their aptitudes despite their limitations—what they can do, not what they can’t do—is very inspiring. I was so excited as a student, and I see that same excitement my students today.”

Schultz-Krohn generously shares that excitement—and a considerable amount of chocolate (yes, chocolate!)—with her colleagues and students. In fact, her passion for the sweet stuff is second only to her commitment to teaching and helping those in need.

“A woman came into the clinic,” Schultz-Krohn says, speaking of one of three occupational therapy clinics that double as a practicum sites for graduate occupational therapy students. “Due to a traumatic brain injury, she had lost her ability to swallow. The student asked me to help because I have expertise in swallowing. Turns out she was a huge chocolate pudding fan!” The woman was partnered with an OT student and, by the time their work was done, she had improved her ability to swallow. And she got her chocolate fix.

Schultz-Krohn shows her dedication in sugar-free ways, too. For more than a decade, Schultz-Krohn and her students have offered occupational therapy services —from job readiness to parenting—to families and children who live in a homeless shelter in San Jose. She recalls a woman who had returned to the shelter with a message for her: “You and your students made all the difference. I now have a job, an apartment and insurance. Thank you for believing in me.”

She also believes in her students. A mentor to more than 150 students, she helps students present their research at professional meetings, a key step in launching their careers. “Publishing and presenting research with my students is the most rewarding part of my job as an educator,” says Schultz-Krohn, who is a member of the Academic Senate and serves on many university and professional boards and committees. “I’ve had students present research at state, national, and international occupational therapy conferences. Several students presented their research in Chile. Standing up there at a podium, they just own it.”

“Dr. Wynn dreams big for her students,” wrote graduate student Colleen Norlander in her nomination. “And she gives of her own time, energy and passion to see these goals accomplished.”

Schultz-Krohn offers this advice to her students: “Uncover the real, authentic you in whatever you’re doing.”