1. Kansas State University
  2. »Division of Communications and Marketing
  3. »K-State Today
  4. »English department honors faculty with awards

K-State Today

July 13, 2021

English department honors faculty with awards

Submitted by Karin Westman

The English department in the College of Arts and Sciences recognizes three faculty members with awards.

Lisa Tatonetti, professor of English and Native American studies, has received the department's annual Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Tatonetti teaches courses in American ethnic literatures and cultures to a range of students, from first-year introductory courses for non-majors to graduate seminars for Master of Arts students. As she explains in her statement of teaching philosophy, "The cornerstone of my pedagogy is community engagement — forming a lively classroom community and also creating opportunities to extend these conversations to university, local and state communities."

Tatonetti uses a combination of innovative and carefully scaffolded assignments, student assignment choice, and a balance of new, generative activities and dependable daily expectations to provide, in her words, "a deeper and, for most students, paradigm-shifting understanding of how literature, history and ideology meet to shape the everyday." Practicing a pedagogy that is "not just outward-facing but also community-centered," Tatonetti helps "advance lifelong learning, particularly about Indigenous literatures, on campus, city, state and national levels." Student comments on evaluations and peer observations of Tatonetti's teaching document her award-winning success with her students.

Michele Janette, professor of English and Asian American literatures and cultures, has received the department's annual Award for Excellence in Advising.

A part of the department's advising team since 2015 and a member of the department's teaching faculty since 1997, Janette values the opportunity to turn her experience into assistance and advocacy for students. As she explains in her statement of advising philosophy, "I want them to know that if they have a problem, I'm in their corner to figure out the solution and follow up to make sure it happens, whether it's just a scheduling do-over, a DARS glitch, finding financial support, or something bigger and more existential like whether to stay in college or double-down on a dual degree."

Janette is particularly attentive to the support that underrepresented students may need: "It's an important part of my advising practice to help students find resources like legal aid to get their name-of-record changed and also to advocate for structural changes that will require less extra work for students just to be able to be in university spaces." Acclaim from Janette's advisees and faculty colleagues testify to her award-winning advising practice.

Anne Longmuir, professor of English, has received the Donnelly Faculty Award in English for 2021-2023.

The award, created by donors Michelle Munson and Serban Simu, Berkeley, California, honors English Professor Emeritus Michael Donnelly and his impact on numerous students. Munson graduated from K-State in 1996 with degrees in physics and electrical engineering. An English class taught by Michael Donnelly greatly influenced her, leading to this gift.

The Donnelly award is given to an outstanding faculty member in the English department in recognition of their contributions to teaching, research/creative activity and service. Each recipient holds the award for two years. A new recipient is named each year, allowing the award to be held by two faculty members at a time. An interdisciplinary committee of faculty and alumni, including Donnelly himself, select each year's recipient.

Longmuir joins six previous winners of the Donnelly Award: Greg Eiselein, 2015-2017; Don Hedrick, 2016-2018; Elizabeth Dodd, 2017-2019; Michele Janette, 2018-2020; Phillip Marzluf, 2019-2021; and Anne Phillips, 2020-2022.

In her letter of application for the award, Longmuir explains her dedication to serving others in her roles as scholar, teacher and director of graduate studies, "prioritizing the needs of my students and the department, while maintaining an active research profile in two fields." She also describes how her approach to scholarship, teaching, and service "rests on the assumption that literature and art provide an opportunity to discuss the parts of life left out by other disciplines."

The 2021-2023 Donnelly Award follows on earlier recognitions for Longmuir, including the department's Student Association of Graduates of English, or SAGE, Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2008; and for Distinguished Service in 2009, 2013, 2016 and 2017.

In addition to her excellence in teaching and in her service as director of graduate studies, from 2012-13 and 2014-present, Longmuir has published one co-edited book and authored 13 peer-reviewed articles or chapters across two fields, 19th-century British literature and contemporary American literature. She serves as an editor for "Digital Mitford: The Mary Russell Mitford Archive" and she has also served as major professor for 13 Master of Arts students, six of whom have gone on to funded doctoral programs.

As Longmuir concludes, reflecting on her work with students, "I try always to act with tact, kindness, and care."

For more information about the Department of English, visit the department's website, social media feeds on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the department's blog.

In this issue

From the administration
News and research
Kudos, publications and presentations