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Gross Wins Teaching Award

The way Katie Hart CAS ‘08 sees it, anyone who can make her love an English writer from the 14th century must be one special teacher. Her view sheds light on why Karen Gross, assistant professor of English, won a 2008 Graves Award in recognition of her teaching accomplishments.

“When a professor can make Geoffrey Chaucer relevant and exciting to an avowed modern American-lit lover like me, that’s something special that goes beyond the material itself,” said Hart, who has taken several courses taught by Gross. “I think the most important quality that makes Karen such a great teacher is the enthusiasm she brings to every subject, every class, and the individual work of every student.”

With the award, Gross receives a $10,000 grant to support her book-in-progress on Chaucer’s Italian influences. In the book, Gross examines what Chaucer borrowed from Italian sources and, more importantly, the Italian literary innovations he rejected.

Gross’ winning the award continues a long run of Lewis & Clark success with the Graves Award, one of the premier humanities teaching honors in the liberal arts colleges sector. Four College of Arts and Sciences faculty members won the Graves Award between 1998 and 2006: Alan Cole, professor of religious studies (1998); Nora Beck, professor of music (2000); Rebecca Copenhaver, associate professor of philosophy (2004); and David Campion, assistant professor of history (2006).

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