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Melissa Sherfinski, PhD

Associate Professor

Professional Highlights

  • Chair, American Educational Research Association (AERA) Early Education and Child Development Special Interest Group
  • Board Member, Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education and Journal of Research in Childhood Education
  • Licensed teacher in West Virginia and Wisconsin, areas: Elementary Education, Early Childhood-PK-K Special Needs, Intellectual Disabilities, Autism
  • Six years public school experience (K-5)
  • Former preschool teacher and childcare provider


  • Ph.D., Curriculum and Instruction, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • M.S.-Ed., Special Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • B.S.-Ed., Elementary Education and Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison


  • Outstanding Teaching Nominee, CAHS, 2014-2018, 2020-2021, 2023
  • Outstanding Researcher Nominee, CAHS, 2019, 2021, 2023
  • Spencer Foundation Fellowship Semi-finalist, 2015
  • Country Roads Scholar, 2013

Areas of Expertise

  • Preschool
  • Kindergarten
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Elementary Education
  • Qualitative Research

Research Interests

  • Universal pre-kindergarten
  • Kindergarten
  • Writing
  • Teacher education
  • Assessment
  • Place-based education

Committees and Memberships

  • Co-chair, School of Education Faculty Evaluation Committee, 2016-2018 and 2021-2023
  • Member, WVU Provost Promotion and Tenure Advisory Committee, 2019-2021
  • Faculty Judge, Office of Undergraduate Affairs, Undergraduate Research Fair, 2021
  • Member, WVU Bucklew Scholarship Committee, 2016-2017 and 2017-2018
  • Chair, CAHS Research, Service, and Professional Development Committee, 2012-2013
  • Coordinator, CAHS Student Research Forum, 2013

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Melissa Sherfinski is an experienced educator and WVU professor of 12 years, who teaches a variety of undergraduate courses to prepare elementary teachers. She also advises and chairs committees in the Ed Theory & Practice doctoral program.