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November 21, 2013

Bartholomae named PA prof of the year

David Bartholomae

David Bartholomae

David Bartholomae, the Charles Crow Chair in English, has been named the 2013 Pennsylvania Professor of the Year.

The U.S. Professors of the Year Awards recognize faculty members nationwide who have excelled at teaching and positively influencing the lives and careers of students. Sponsored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the program is the only national one to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring.

Bartholomae has played a major role in the development of the University’s composition program, which is nationally regarded. He was among the first scholars in the country to promote the value of writing in the undergraduate curriculum. He argued that students not only needed to develop their writing skills in introductory composition courses, but in courses in their fields of study. Under his direction, the writing in the disciplines program was established in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences to support faculty from all academic departments with teaching writing-intensive courses in their subjects.

“As a teacher of undergraduates, my goal is to prepare students to engage meaningfully with the forms of knowledge we value as academics and as intellectuals. This means challenging students with texts they are not yet prepared to read and intellectual work that is beyond their immediate grasp,” Bartholomae said. “I would also say it has been my job to prepare the academy, professors in and out of English, to value the writing of young adults and to respond to it with the same care and attention we give to any serious written work.”

Bartholomae teaches in all of Pitt’s undergraduate English programs. In the literature program, he teaches general education classes and courses for majors; in the writing program, he teaches courses in nonfiction writing and journalism, and in the composition program he regularly instructs a section of Pitt’s standard first-year composition seminar.

He has been a member of Pitt’s Department of English since 1975. Prior to becoming the Charles Crow Chair in 2009, he served as the department chair, 1995-2009, as well as director of the composition program, 1980-89. He also served as a center associate for the Learning Research and Development Center, 1979-89.

Bartholomae’s awards include the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, the Association of Departments of English Francis Andrew March Award and the Mina Shaughnessy Award from the Modern Language Association of America, the Exemplar Award from the Conference on College Composition and Communication, the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Ohio Wesleyan University and the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Educational Press Association of America.

He was president of the Association of Departments of English, 2003-06; a member of the executive council of the Modern Language Association of America,1997-2002, and chair of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, 1985-89.

Bartholomae is the author of three books, including “Writing on the Margins: Essays on Composition and Teaching.” He also is the co-author of several books, including the textbook series “Ways of Reading.”

Bartholomae earned a Bachelor of Arts at Ohio Wesleyan in 1969 and a PhD at Rutgers University in 1975.

Provost Patricia E. Beeson said of Bartholomae: “The ability to write clearly and effectively is one of the most valuable skills that an individual can develop, and through his work as a teacher, researcher and editor, David Bartholomae has helped countless undergraduate students at Pitt and beyond flourish as writers. Just as his essays like ‘Inventing the University’ helped shape the field of composition studies, his efforts on behalf of undergraduate writing — as well as his focus on teaching undergraduate writing — have helped shape Pitt’s distinguished program in composition and pedagogy. Taken together, Professor Bartholomae’s work provides an exemplary model of the lasting impact that university professors can have and makes him a wonderful choice for Pennsylvania’s Professor of the Year.”

Filed under: Feature,Volume 46 Issue 7

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