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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of English Language and Literature


Assistant Professor Samuel Amadon and Associate Professor Gretchen Woertendyke win Teaching Awards for 2015

Department honors outstanding teachers for 2015

The English department is delighted to announce the recipients of its 2015 Teacher of the Year Awards: Dr. Samuel Amadon and Dr. Gretchen Woertendyke.

Dr. Amadon, who teaches creative writing and poetry workshops, as well as literature surveys, gets praised repeatedly for his “patience,” “understanding,” “enthusiasm,” and outstanding “communication,” as well as his availability outside of class to give students additional feedback. They note his broad-ranging expertise in different literary styles and texts. Graduate students praise his personalized insights on each portfolio and his guidance in helping them to assemble their first book manuscripts. “Great workshop,” one summarizes. “Best I’ve been in.” Another describes Dr. Amadon as “extremely bright, hard-working, hilarious, and a truly great educator…Make this studio meet twice a week for the same duration—I want more.”   

Dr. Woertendyke teaches 18th and 19th century hemispheric studies of American literature and classes on the novel. Students laud her knowledge of and passion for the course material, her informative lectures and thought-provoking discussion prompts, and her ability to relate historical conflicts to present-day events. They describe her as “always really engaged and enthusiastic,” and “always willing to go out of her way to help.” One of her greatest strengths, a student adds, is “her respect for the class and its different opinions.” “Loved this class,” one student notes, because it “changed my way of thinking.” Another describes learning “meaningful things that I will take with me for the rest of my life.”