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University News

In Memoriam: Mei-Yau Shih


Mei-Yau Shih
Mei-Yau Shih

Mei-Yau Shih, 65, a recently retired associate director of the Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL) and senior lecturer II, died Sept. 22, 2023.

A remembrance provided by Shih’s colleagues from the CTL follows.

Mei-Yau Shih, retired associate director of the Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL) and senior lecturer II with more than 25 years of service at UMass Amherst, passed away peacefully on Sept. 22 with her family members at her bedside. She was 65 years old.

An industrious and insightful proponent of effective teaching, Mei consulted with hundreds of faculty members on course design; coordinated the Periodic Multi-Year Review grant program, led or co-led faculty learning communities on general education teaching, team-based learning, online teaching and learning, and flexible learning; directed the CTL’s MAP program for many years; was a long time member of the Faculty Senate General Education Council; and served as a thoughtful and dedicated mentor to her many colleagues.

Raised in Taiwan, Mei earned a B.A. in Chinese literature from National Taiwan University in Taipei, and an M.A. in journalism and mass communication and a Ph.D. in educational technology from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. She joined the CTL in 1998 to direct the TEACHnology Fellowship. She was a two-time Fulbright Senior Specialist grant recipient, bringing her teaching development expertise to Taiwan and China. She published many scholarly papers in both English and Chinese, and translated former CTL Director Dr. Mary Deane Sorcinelli’s book, “Creating the Future of Faculty Development: Learning from the Past, Understanding the Present” into Mandarin: “開創教師發展新紀元:學習過去,瞭解當下.” Mei served on the board of directors of the New England Faculty Development Consortium (NEFDC) from 2007-2013, chairing two annual conference committees. She also served on the Core Committee of the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education from 2014-2017.

The name of the Center for Teaching and Learning has changed over the years – from the Center for Teaching (CFT) to the Center for Teaching and Faculty Development (CTFD), to the Institute for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Development (TEFD), to the CTL – but one thing always remained constant: Mei-Yau Shih was tirelessly dedicated to supporting teaching on our campus, and always available to collaborate with faculty. She will be dearly missed by the campus, and especially by her close colleagues.