Bowen named state Professor of the Year

Dr. Betsy Bowen, well known by the Fairfield community for her dedication to students and innovations in teaching English, was named the 2010 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Connecticut Professor of the Year. The Foundation and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) administers the program.

“At the heart of this is Betsy’s deep and generous spirit, one who takes true joy in the privilege of witnessing those significant breakthroughs that occasionally happen, when a student’s struggle with the material is transformed into a lifelong passion to learn,” said the Rev. Paul Fitzgerald, S.J., senior vice president for academic affairs.

This is the second year in a row a College of Arts and Sciences professor has won the honor: Dr. Laura Nash, associate professor of music, was the 2009 recipient.

Dr. Bowen holds a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University and is a specialist in rhetoric and composition with interests in community literacy and English education. In addition to 23 years of teaching at Fairfield, she has devoted herself to the advancement and research of finding the best ways to teach the craft of writing.

As director of the Writing Center at Fairfield, she leads peer tutors who help students become comfortable with the writing and editing process. “To cultivate intellectual risk-taking in students, I create a classroom where there is a balance between challenge and freedom,” she said.

Kathryn Reilly ’11, an English/studio art major and a tutor for the Writing Center said, “Betsy challenges her students to think critically, analytically, and carefully. At the same time, though, she remains approachable, and encouraging. Her soft voice, calm demeanor, and deep interest in students’ writing and growth lend character to her teaching style.”

Dr. Bowen’s work constantly traces back to her passion for teaching. “As the first on either side of my family to have the privilege of a college education, I knew that I had been entrusted with something precious. For more than two decades as a teacher, I have tried to share that precious resource with others.

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