Jay Samons Announced as New NEH Distinguished Teaching Fellow

May 17, 2011

Chair of Classical Studies Jay Samons has received the Distinguished Teaching Fellowship (DTP) from The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The Professorship was established in 1993 by the NEH with a challenge grant that matched funds from alumni and friends of CAS/GRS and the Division of General Education. The Professorship recognizes excellence in teaching by a prominent teacher-scholar associated with the Core Curriculum, and it funds undergraduate enrichment programs in the humanities generally.

The teaching fellow serves for a term of three years, with a teaching obligation in the Core. Professor Samons replaces outgoing Distinguished Teaching Fellow Professor of History Diana Wylie. Under Professor Wylie’s leadership, the DTP has supported a wide range of programming, including the lecture series “Lectures on Insight and Inspiration,” a lecture by South African journalist Mark Gevisser, numerous student events, and many other events too numerous to list here.

Professor Samons promised to continue Professor Wylie’s lead in “creating opportunities for the humanities to thrive at BU.” “I’m very grateful for the opportunity to help foster study of the humanities at Boston University,” said Samons. “The NEH DTP has traditionally worked closely with the Core Curriculum, and I’m very excited to strengthen my own connections with the Core. I’ve been lecturing in the Core Curriculum on Greek and Roman history for about 15 years, but now I will finally have the chance to teach courses in Core humanities and to work closely with other Core faculty.

“I hope to use the funds connected with the NEH DTP position to encourage undergraduate engagement in the humanities in and outside the Core Curriculum,” she continued. “A particular area of interest for me is undergraduate student organizations in humanities departments. I think such organizations have a major impact on students and their academic development, and I hope to strengthen those clubs across the humanities. This is especially important at a school as large as BU, where students can sometimes feel less connected to the school as a whole and need smaller units (like departments or the Core) to function as their academic and intellectual homes.”

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