Bristol Community College Faculty Member Adrienne Foster Scharf, Ph.D., is a recipient of a 2023 Dale P. Parnell Distinguished Faculty Award from the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). The prestigious award will be presented on Tuesday, April 4, 2023. The Dale P. Parnell Faculty Award distinguishes faculty who not only exemplify excellence in an academic setting but who also work outside the classroom to help their students achieve success. Since the program began in 2018, AACC has recognized more than 185 faculty members from across the United States.

Dr. Adrienne Foster Scharf, is the Program Chair of Bristol’s Life Sciences: Biotechnology and Forensic DNA program. In addition to her work in the classroom, she mentors undergraduate research students, preparing them to transfer to baccalaureate degree programs and for success within their field. She also chairs the college’s STEM Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee, leading initiatives to increase the STEM identity of traditionally underrepresented students. In addition, Dr. Foster Scharf serves as co-chair for one of the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) standards of accreditation, Standard Four: The Academic Program.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in laboratory animal science from North Carolina A&T State University and a Ph.D. in biological sciences from Purdue University. The criteria for the prestigious Dale P. Parnell Distinguished Faculty Award include demonstrating a passion for students in the classroom, willingness to support students inside and outside of the classroom, participation in college committees, and going above and beyond to ensure that students are successful in their academic endeavors. The recognition is named for former AACC President Dale P. Parnell, who was instrumental in establishing many of the foundational concepts for today’s community colleges.

To view the full list of the 2023 Dale P. Parnell Distinguished Faculty Award recipients, including Bristol Faculty Member Adrienne Foster-Scharf, please visit