Alison Baker Wins 2014 Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching

John Duvall

The Office of the Provost announced that the winner of the 2014 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching is Alison Baker, Professor of Medieval and Classical Literature in the English and Foreign Languages (EFL) Department. She is the first faculty member in the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences (CLASS) to win the Teaching Award. 

Baker regularly teaches courses in myth, epic, and medieval literature. Whether drilling students on Middle English or assessing student learning in the Senior Capstone course, Baker is consistently beloved by her students. Baker firmly believes in the transformative power of oral performance and literacy, and asks her students to participate in that performance. Outside the classroom, Baker is a much-sought after adviser to literature majors, she serves as the faculty adviser for Sigma Tau Delta (English Honors Society), and manages EFL’s network of alumni. Outside of CPP, she gives public dramatic readings of Chaucer, coaches pronunciation of Middle English, trains teachers on how to teach readalouds and coordinates events to read to children at local schools.

The Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching is awarded to one professor every year who demonstrates outstanding success in student performance, innovative teaching methods, and active involvement in student learning outside the classroom. And while this award recognizes Baker’s years of successful pedagogy, Alison Baker also deserves recognition for her hard work in service to the department. 


Professor Dewey Hall's New Book to be Released in October

John Duvall

In his study of Romantic naturalists and early environmentalists, Dewey W. Hall asserts that William Wordsworth and Ralph Waldo Emerson were transatlantic literary figures who were both influenced by the English naturalist Gilbert White. In Part I, Hall examines evidence that as Romantic naturalists interested in meteorology, Wordsworth and Emerson engaged in proto-environmental activity that drew attention to the potential consequences of the locomotive's incursion into Windermere and Concord. In Part II, Hall suggests that Wordsworth and Emerson shaped the early environmental movement through their work as poets–turned–naturalists, arguing that Wordsworth influenced Octavia Hill’s contribution to the founding of the United Kingdom’s National Trust in 1895, while Emerson inspired John Muir to spearhead the United States’ National Parks movement in 1890. Hall’s book traces the connection from White as a naturalist–turned–poet to Muir as the quintessential early environmental activist who camped in Yosemite with President Theodore Roosevelt. Throughout, Hall raises concerns about the growth of industrialization to make a persuasive case for literature's importance to the rise of environmentalism.


An integrated department of languages, literatures, linguistics, and cultures, EFL offers programs rich in multi-disciplinary synergies that uniquely prepare students for graduate study and the globalized workplace. Our literature programs feature English and American traditions, Spanish and Latin American traditions, and world traditions. Our foreign languages program includes Chinese, French, German, and Spanish. We also offer programs in English Education, TESL, English Composition, and Spanish Linguistics. Our English M.A. program routinely places graduates in teaching positions at area colleges and universities and in Ph.D. programs nationwide.

First-Year Writing/"Stretch" Composition Program

CPP’s English and Foreign Languages Department is proud to roll out the brand new “Stretch Composition” Program to help students meet their University first-year writing requirement. Details about the new composition program can be found on our new Stretch website. There you can also find information about Directed Self Placement through Poly Placement Options, and learn about our Composition Courses.

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