President & Provost Award for Teaching Excellence, 2008

Mary Lou EmeryProfessor Mary Lou Emery was recognized with the 2008 President and Provost Award for Teaching Excellence, a university-wide award that recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated a sustained level of teaching excellence.

As additional testimony to her dedication to teaching, Professor Emery was recognized with the Graduate College’s Outstanding Mentor Award in November 2007. She received a Collegiate Teaching Award in 2001-2002.

Both her peers and her students praise her teaching. One colleague spoke of the ways in which her careful organization, quiet authority, and friendly but serious classroom presence fostered the creation of a community of undergraduate readers who were able to fully engage difficult texts. Former graduate students who are now working as college professors praise not only the teaching and guidance they received while at Iowa but the continuing support she has given them and note that she is a role model for their teaching. Undergraduates call her courses both challenging and exhilarating.

For the English Department, Emery has developed a series of influential courses on feminist theory and criticism and on modernist literature and postcolonial theory. She has also been instrumental in developing and maintaining the excellence of the General Education Program. She is a past director of the General Education Literature program (1995-96 and 1998-99), which offers courses taken by every UI undergraduate student. In this role, she prepared graduate teaching assistants, developed the curriculum, and explored new teaching methods and ideas.

A member of the faculty since 1983, Emery’s teaching and research are in the areas of modern literary studies. Her most recent book is Modernism, the Visual, and Caribbean Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2007).