One of the challenges in constructing the citation for the AAUP's annual Excellence in Faculty Accomplishment Award is limiting the recitation of your colleague's fine qualities to approximately 300 words. And since I have already used 35 of my allotted 300, I'd better move on. This year's recipient is one whose accomplishments are long-term and far-reaching. Our winner is a summa cum laude graduate of Marymount Manhattan College in NY and received her Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame in American Literature. Her career at Saint Anselm began in the 1972-73 academic year completing 35 years of service here this year. While at Saint Anselm, our recipient was active in the planning and execution of the Humanities and Honors Programs, but her interest in furthering the scope of our students did not stop there, as she has pushed our students to appreciate the contributions of Native American literature as well as taught courses in Freshman Composition, American Literature, Seminars in Walt Whitman, Emily Dickenson, Transcendentalism, Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Faulkner, to name a few.
Our recipient truly enjoys our students and our community. She once described Saint Anselm this way, "There is a special quality, even joyousness, that characterizes the students at Saint A's. I don't know its secret, but it seems to proceed from a basic willingness to trust others and a genuine kindness ‘in the air' which tends to nourish the best in people."
Her contributions are not limited to the classroom as our recipient served for 6 years on the board of the Humanities Council, chaired the English Department for three years, served on the faculty senate for multiple terms during the 1970's and ‘80s, has done extensive work with NEASC and has published and presented her scholarly accomplishments in numbers too large to fit in this 300 word summary. All this is not to be overshadowed by the 11 years she dutifully served this institution as Executive Vice-President.
Along the way she has found time to extend her talent as a former ballet dancer to teaching dance, and fulfill her roles as wife to Walt and mother to Joe. She also manages to perform all these tasks with a grace and self-effacing sense of humor I could never hope to match. I am happy and proud to announce that this year's Excellence in Faculty Accomplishment Award is presented to Professor of English, Dr. Denise Askin.