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stef m. shuster awarded 2022 MSU Teacher-Scholar Award

May 11, 2022

Dr. stef m. shuster is one of the recipients of the 2022 Michigan State University Teacher-Scholar Award. shuster is a sociologist of gender and medicine, appointed in Lyman Briggs College and the Department of Sociology.


stef m. shusterSupported by the MSU Office of University Development, Teacher-Scholar Awards are all-university awards given to faculty who, early in their careers, have earned the respect of students and colleagues for their devotion to and skill in teaching, and whose instruction is linked to and informed by their research and creative activities.
 
shuster is a nationally recognized teacher-scholar who brings their scholarly inquisitiveness into the classroom and asks students to consider how inequalities are perpetuated in medicine and science and the consequences of such inequalities for the lives of marginalized groups. shuster mentors students through the entire social scientific research cycle: locating topics worth studying, data collection, data analysis, and interpretation. Their classrooms encourage students’ creativity and making connections between society and class concepts. Using podcasts, digital storytelling, poetry, and zines, students translate their independent research findings into creative projects that further cultivate critical thinking. shuster successfully opens new worlds to their students in ways that make them feel both respected and challenged — not an easy task in these societally polarizing times.
 
shuster is making their research contributions using social scientific data to address longstanding inequalities. Their current research at the intersections of gender, medicine, and science considers how evidence is constructed, mobilized, and weaponized in transgender medicine, which is the subject of their recently published book by NYU Press, Trans Medicine: The Emergence and Practice of Treating Gender. This book offers a rare opportunity to understand how health care providers make decisions in a developing medical field without ample clinical experience and evidence. shuster draws attention to questions of authority and expertise in medicine and the unique role of medical providers in the lives of trans folk.
 
shuster’s work has been published in the top interdisciplinary journals of their fields, including Gender and Society, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, and Sex Roles. In 2021, shuster was recognized with the American Sociological Association’s Donald W. Light Award for the public practice of medical sociology. shuster serves on the editorial boards of Social Science & Medicine, Social Currents, and Contemporary Sociology.
 
shuster says, “I am deeply honored and grateful to have been awarded the MSU Teacher-Scholar Award. To be recognized for bringing my intellectual curiosity (and urgency to create change) in how inequalities are perpetuated in science and medicine into my classes and, in turn, learn so much from students about the lasting consequences of oppression in the lives of marginalized groups, is humbling.”
 
Lyman Briggs College Dean Kendra Spence Cheruvelil says, “Dr. shuster is most deserving of this honor. Their approaches to research and teaching help the next generation of scientists and healthcare professionals understand inequities and build a greater vision of what inclusion can be for all patients and citizens.”
 


Adapted from Teacher-Scholar Award announcement on MSUToday