Sherri Taylor honored with Star of Texas Award for her contributions to photographic education

April 19, 2017

In recognition of her contributions to photographic education in Texas for more than 30 years, Sherri Taylor was honored with the Star of Texas Award at the Association of Texas Photography Instructors (ATPI) annual convention Feb. 26. Taylor is an adjunct professor in the Newhouse School's Department of Multimedia Photography and Design. She was formerly an award-winning publications adviser and journalism teacher in Irving, Texas.

Photo of Sherri Taylor and Bradley Wilson at the award ceremony
Taylor is greeted by former student Bradley Wilson at the award ceremony Rob Mattson

“Sherri has been inspiring photojournalists, designers and educators for as long as I can remember,” said Bradley Wilson G’97, a Maxwell School alumnus who attended workshop courses taught by Taylor when he was in high school. “She has literally changed our profession and the way we look at the world.” Wilson, ATPI past president, is an assistant professor at Midwestern State University.

ATPI president Deanne Brown said the impact Taylor has had on high school and college students is impossible to measure.

“Early in her own teaching career, she set the gold standard in Texas for building and maintaining outstanding photography and journalism programs,” Brown, newspaper adviser at Westlake High School in Austin, said. “Despite her successful career move to Syracuse, she has always returned to her roots for summer workshops and annual conventions to help guide and educate students and teachers ‘back home.’ Her wealth of knowledge, approachability and genuine desire to help others coupled with her overall contributions to photography education in Texas embody the spirit of the Star of Texas award. Sherri has been a ‘star’ in many of our hearts for a very long time.”

Photo of Sherri Taylor with students
Taylor teaching students at the Newhouse School

Jennifer Steele ’94, G’95 first met Taylor as a high school student, when she attended one of Taylor’s workshops in Texas.

“I remember meeting a spunky lady from Irving who opened my eyes to the fact that a story is often more than words and in some cases devoid of them altogether,” said Steele. “She has a way of inspiring people to try something they may not be sure they are ready for. Without a doubt, Sherri knows what it takes to prepare young people for the world."

Steele later chose to attend Syracuse University, where she earned bachelor’s degrees in advertising from the Newhouse School and fine arts from the College of Arts and Sciences, and a master’s degree in magazine, newspaper and online journalism from the Newhouse School. She now works in content marketing for Netscout in Plano, Texas.

David Sutherland, an associate professor in the Newhouse School, said, “Because she cares about her students, she sets a high standard of achievement for them. Sherri won’t let the students quit until their work meets her expectations. I can’t quit until I’ve met her expectations, either. Sherri has made me a better teacher by setting a superior example.”

Taylor is the 16th recipient of the Star of Texas Award since its inception in 1995.