SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - For the first time in Wittenberg University’s history, three professors have earned prestigious Fulbright Scholar Awards during the same academic year for study abroad. Tammy Proctor, associate professor of history, Cynthia Richards, associate professor of English, and John Ritter, professor of geology, recently joined the elite list of 2004-2005 faculty recipients, making Wittenberg the only liberal arts college in Ohio in the last 10 years to have more than two professors recognized by the Fulbright Program in one year.
“These dedicated men and women share a personal passion for their chosen academic discipline and for teaching,” said Ken Bladh, provost. “Their time as Fulbright scholars will provide personal professional growth that benefits our students and the broader academic world as they share the fruits of their research in subsequent publications and presentations.”
An expert in European gender history, World War I, British Empire, and modern Europe and Britain, Proctor plans to conduct research in Belgium for a book titled A Civilian History of the First World War to be published by New York University Press.
“I strive to help students understand the nature of our modern notions of warfare in my courses, and in the last couple of years, students have increasingly begun to ask larger questions about the justice and morality of U.S. and European foreign policy, globalization and state violence,” Proctor said. “They are interested in the fine line between civilians and combatants, so this project is not only a research interest of mine but also my attempt to begin to explain for students and general audiences the formative impact of the First World War on the world in which we live.”
Author of Female Intelligence: Women and Espionage in the First World War and On My Honour: Guiding and Scouting in Interwar Britain, Proctor has worked extensively on the social and cultural history of war in the 20th century. One of the founders of a mentoring program at Wittenberg for young girls, Proctor, who currently serves as history department chair, earned both her Ph.D. and M.A. in history from Rutgers University and her B.J. and B.A. from the University of Missouri. She joined the Wittenberg faculty in 1998.
Richards will use her award to teach at Palacky University in Olomouc, Czech Republic, as part of a project titled “American Literature in Relief: A Cross-Cultural Perspective.” Excited about the opportunity, Richards said she feels a deep sense of responsibility as well. “I will be teaching American literature at a time of national soul searching and of international crisis,” she said. “Teaching in the Czech Republic will also challenge me to learn a new language, new literatures, even a new understanding of one’s relationship to literature, and in doing so, remind me of what is it like to be a student again. I teach best when I remember what it’s like to be a student first.”
Winner of the Omicron Delta Kappa Excellence in Teaching Award at Wittenberg and a winner of the American Society of 18th-Century Studies national course design competition, Richards currently teaches courses in early British literature, women’s studies and composition, and serves as director of Wittenberg’s Women’s Studies program. She has also published articles on 18th-century women writers, feminism, composition theory and teaching practices, and is currently working on a book-length project titled Radical Correspondences: Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Contemporaries. Mostly recently, she edited avolume that pairs Mary Wollstonecraft's The Wrongs of Woman with William Godwin's Memoirs of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Richards received her B.A. from Brown University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from New York University. She joined the Wittenberg faculty in 1996.
Chair of the department of geology, Ritter will work with teaching and research faculty in The Centre for Caribbean Land and Environmental Appraisal Research at the University of the West Indies. His project, titled “Learning Geology and Geoinformatics on the Front Line: Applying Concepts, Technology and Service to Geohazards in Trinidad and Tobago,” will provide an opportunity to combine an educational experience for students with service that meets the needs of the community.
“Increasingly, Trinidadians and Tobagonians are impacted by floods and landslides because of natural and human-induced changes to the environment,” Ritter said. “The opportunity to work on this type of problem, study it and teach it, and to apply my skills to the benefit of the host institution and the local population, is the very model of service-learning that I support in my teaching at Wittenberg.”
A member of the Wittenberg faculty since 1990, Ritter has often assisted the Springfield community through his participation in Clark County Soil and Water Conservation District, various advisory boards involved with planning or environmental issues and his research on local streams. Ritter, who currently teaches courses in physical geology, geomorphology, environmental geology, and environmental science, earned his Ph.D. and B.S. from The Pennsylvania State University, and his M.S. from the University of New Mexico.
Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has recognized leadership potential in more than 255,000 individuals around the globe. In that time, more than 20 Wittenberg faculty members have received Fulbright Awards for research, teaching and various academic projects in Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. To learn more about Wittenberg’s Fulbright award-winners, click here.
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