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Last modified: Friday, April 20, 2012

Professor Christine Farris receives IU Bloomington Distinguished Service Award

April 20, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Christine Farris, a professor in the Department of English in the College of Arts and Sciences and former longtime director of the department's composition program, has been selected to receive the IU Bloomington Distinguished Service Award for 2011-12.

Christine Farris

Christine Farris

Farris has held administrative posts in the English Department for 17 of her 22 years at IU, including associate chair and acting chair as well as director of composition. In four authored and co-edited books, writing curriculum development, instructor training and work on IU, state and national educational policy, she has forged stronger connections across disciplines, literature and composition, writing programs in Indiana, and the boundaries between high school and college.

"Christine Farris has done remarkable work in elevating the quality of composition instruction at IU Bloomington over the past 20 years," said Thomas Gieryn, vice provost for faculty and academic affairs. "She has made major and lasting contributions to the university as a whole and to the citizens of the state of Indiana. This award is a well-deserved recognition of her commitment to the university and the mission of higher education."

The Distinguished Service Award was initiated by the IU Bloomington Faculty Council to recognize leadership and dedication. The award carries a one-time cash prize of $2,000.

For ENG W131, IU Bloomington's composition course, Farris developed a rigorous sequence of analytical reading and writing tasks that students are likely to encounter across the curriculum. She has trained and collaborated with hundreds of new graduate associate instructors.

She was a key player in the English Department's development of a second graduate practicum on the teaching of literature, supported in part by the department's work with Preparing Future Faculty and the Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate. She has also shaped the reading and writing pedagogy of hundreds of Indiana secondary teachers as IU Advance College Project English faculty liaison.

"Christine Farris is a model university citizen," Jonathan Elmer, professor and chair of the English Department, said in a letter nominating Farris for the award. "Everything she undertakes is driven by a core commitment to the essential value of reading and writing in English."

Farris has served on the Bloomington Faculty Council and its Subcommittee on Educational Policy, as well as the IU General Education Committee, chairing the Composition subcommittee. She has chaired the IU system-wide Committee on Honorary Degrees and the Faculty Committee on Teaching Awards. For the College of Arts and Sciences, she serves on the Faculty Promotion Committee and has chaired the Undergraduate Education Subcommittee of the Strategic Planning Committee.

For the Indiana Commission on Higher Education and Indiana Department of Education, she has served on the state team for the Partnership for Assessment of College and Career Readiness. She has served as an elected member of executive committees for the Modern Language Association, the Conference on College Composition and Communication and the Council of Writing Program Administrators.

Her recent co-edited book, "College Credit for Writing in High School: The 'Taking Care of' Business," has sparked nationwide discussion of the issues associated with dual credit and the bridge between high school and college writing. She has delivered two conference keynote addresses on the politics of writing instruction and the future of English departments.

Farris received the IU President's Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1998. She has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Washington and has been an IU Bloomington faculty member since 1990.

A recognition ceremony for Farris will be planned for the fall 2012 semester.