About Professor City LLC

Professor City Erika Sanborne

Meet Erika Sanborne, The Educator

In classrooms since 2001, and still teaching today…

Erika first taught high school math for so-called “at risk youth” in a large urban high school for eight years. She has taught at the University of Massachusetts – Lowell (UML) since 2004, in the Psychology Department. As of the end of 2022, Erika has taught exactly 104 classes there, including a 4-4 teaching courseload for about a decade.

Erika has won teaching awards and is consistently highly-rated. Fun fact: Yes, until recently she was the #1 rated faculty on rate my professors, among the 2000+ faculty rated at her university.

Editor’s note: I have a lot more to say about that but, for brevity here, let me say that all student evaluations of teaching tend to be biased by both race and gender, and should thus not be given the weight that they are by our institutions. Use other measures.

There is also a period effect happening (not a cohort effect – meaning, it’s not “these young people today!”) apparent in students’ ratings of faculty since the beginning of the COVID-19 era. Alas, these things still matter within academia and I share them for transparency. I welcome conversations on this topic.

Who is Erika Sanborne
Erika Sanborne, in a library, in front of rows of books

The testimonials on the website here and elsewhere (i.e. Trustpilot, Google) are also references. Basically, we all have our gifts, and I am a gifted teacher, who enjoys elevating the teaching of others. 

This is among the most satisfying work I have ever done. A close second to actual teaching for me is helping other educators figure out how to do their best. I love this.

The Personal Story

Erika Sanborne and Rachael Keefe
Erika Sanborne (L) and Rachael Keefe (R) smiling on a cool fall vacation somewhere with water and boats


I (Erika) moved from New England to Minnesota in 2015 in support of the work of my amazing wife, the Rev. Dr. Rachael Keefe. (Read more about Rachael on her website.) We’ve been married since December 2010. I know I’m my best me because of our relationship, and I love watching her thrive.

For fun and necessity both, in 2021 we converted a Chevy Express shuttle bus into a tiny home/RV, and we have gone out for as long as six weeks at a time of #vanlife, which was over a sabbatical, also traveling to conferences, and going to see the people and places we love.

On being a PhD OWL…

Mostly, I am grateful for my life. I love teaching and helping others figure out how to teach well also. Drop me a line if you want to connect. I’d love to know who read to the bottom of this page. Who are you? Where do you teach? What are you working on, dealing with, or thinking about?

In 2019, I got the experience of being a TA for the first time, as I accepted a spot in a fully-funded PhD program! A #PhDOWL is an Older, Wiser Learner. Being a TA was both fun and instructive. We need to support our junior faculty and doctoral students better than we do. I’m now “ABD” and here is more info on my research, if interested.

first day of school!
Erika Sanborne, wearing a polo shirt and a backpack, holding a sign that reads “First Day of School”

Other links to more of my work are in my my Qk Links Profile.