Excellence in Teaching — Whenever I talk about the English Department to candidates or other people who are interested in our department, I mention that our faculty members take teaching very seriously. We do not all teach in the same way, but we are all committed to sharing our specialized knowledge and insights with our students. We all do our best to cultivate our students’ skills as readers, writers, and critical thinkers. I believe that we always strive for teaching excellence, so I take great satisfaction when the larger university recognizes our excellent teaching. Over the years, such recognition has come our way on many occasions. For evidence, one simply needs to look at the many plaques and certificates related to teaching on display on the English Department’s Wall of Fame. This year, the larger university is again recognizing the excellent teaching that takes place in our department.
The English Department is the recipient of the 2016-2017 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. According to the official description of this award, “The Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching is granted to an academic department, program, or unit in recognition of the collective responsibility of faculty members for maintaining high-quality teaching. The award is intended to recognize documented efforts that improve student learning and outcomes.” The English Department also received this award in 1995-1996, making our department one of only three departments to receive this award twice.
Also this semester, Kirk Melnikoff is being honored as a finalist for the Bank of America Award for Teaching Excellence. The award ceremony will take place on September 8, 2017, at which point we will learn if Kirk won this award. However, being named a finalist for this award is itself an honor. Kirk joins a long list of English faculty members who are recipients or finalists for this award. Listed below are the names of the various English professors who have received this award or who have been named finalists:
2013: Mark I. West (Finalist)
Kudos — As you know, I like to use my Monday Missives to share news about recent accomplishments by members of our department. Here is the latest news:
C. Hugh Holman Award
Fretwell 290B (English Department Seminar Room)
Quirky Quiz Question — The first time that the English Department was the recipient of the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching was in 1995-1996. Who was the chair of the English Department at that time?