Sandra Sgoutas-Emch is a professor of psychological sciences and the former director of the Center for Educational Excellence at the University of San Diego. She has been a professor at the university since 1992 and served in many leadership positions including as the director of the gender studies program. Dr. Sgoutas-Emch teaches courses in both behavioral neuroscience and health psychology areas. She is affiliated with both the Women and Gender and Ethnic Studies programs and teaches courses that focus on diversity issues. Her courses are designed with inclusion and equity in mind utilizing active and experiential learning pedagogies. She has a long history of incorporating community service learning in her classes where she was the recipient of the innovation in experiential education award at the university and in 2007 received a faculty fellowship from California Campus Compact and the Carnegie Foundation for incorporating political engagement in the classroom. In 2015, Dr. Sgoutas-Emch was a national finalist for the Thomas Ehrlich Engaged Faculty Award given by Campus Compact. Her extensive service at the university earned her the Woman of Impact award for faculty in 2010. She has also received the Distinguished Faculty award twice given by the associated students.
Dr. Sgoutas-Emch has published in a variety of journals including Psychophysiology, the Journal of Civic Engagement, the Journal of Religion and Health, and College Student Affairs Journal. She has worked on many projects that examine the impact of stress on our campus particularly in underserved students. The results were implemented in a strategic plan for the university to help students deal with the stress they are experiencing. As director of the Center for Educational Excellence, Dr. Sgoutas-Emch has worked with many faculty in helping to support their teaching and faculty development. She has designed numerous studies regarding the scholarship of teaching and learning that include examination of best pedagogies for teaching courses such as statistics and biopsychology. Furthermore, her most recent research has focused on models of community engagement and the impact of student learning and community.