Baylor English Professor Wins Award for New Scholars

Jan. 31, 2007
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Dr. Richard R. Russell, assistant professor of English at Baylor University, will receive the 2007 Achievement Award for New Scholars in Humanities and Fine Arts from the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS).

Russell will receive the award Feb. 25 at the CSGS Annual meeting in Chattanooga, Tenn. Nominees were considered according to their scholarly achievements and were required to have completed their terminal degree within the last six years.

"I am thrilled to receive this award and hope it brings glory to God, who led me to Baylor some six years ago," Russell said. "Various administrators at Baylor have encouraged my scholarship and provided me release time from teaching in the form of a reduced teaching load, summer sabbaticals and one full semester sabbatical so that I might do my research and writing. I would like to thank the former and current members of the outstanding Baylor English department for their encouragement. I especially am grateful to Dr. Robert Ray, graduate chair of English, who nominated me to represent the Baylor English department, and to my chair, Maurice Hunt, and colleague, Joe Fulton, who wrote letters of recommendation on my behalf for this award."

Dr. Larry Lyon, dean of The Graduate School at Baylor, recently expressed his congratulations to Russell and the English department for this achievement.

"This award goes to the best young scholar who is typically from one of the best universities in the south--a large geographic area stretching from Virginia to Florida to Texas," he said. "In the years that I have been graduate dean, UT-Austin is the only other school in the state to have a faculty member win this award. The award in the humanities is only presented every four years, so the number of potential nominees is in the thousands."

Furthermore, Lyon remarked that Russell's accomplishment demonstrates the continuing advances Baylor has made in academic arenas. "This honor is indicative of the quality of new faculty we have brought to Baylor over the past few years, as is the fact that there were other nominations from department chairs and graduate faculty directors at Baylor that were exceptionally strong. They might well have won the CSGS award if Richard's name had not been sent forward as the Baylor nominee," he said.

Russell agreed. "I think this award suggests strongly how Baylor's continuing emphasis on excellence in both research and teaching is resulting in national recognition for its faculty," he said.

Russell received his doctorate in English literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2001, and he has been a member of the faculty of Baylor since 2001. Author of more than three dozen articles, essays and notes on Irish literature, Russell has been nominated for several teaching awards and was recognized as an Outstanding Professor at Baylor in 2003-2004.

The Conference of Southern Graduate Schools is an organization of more than 200 graduate schools in 15 states of the southern region of the United States. Among the Texas universities that are members of CSGS are Baylor, Rice, Southern Methodist University, Texas A&M, Texas Christian University, Texas Tech and the University of Texas.

For more information, contact Russell at (254) 710-4815 or by email at Richard_Russell@baylor.edu .

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