Ann Brady, 1995 Carlson Award Winner, English Department Posted on October 24th, 2016 by

1995 Carlson Award Winner, Ann Brady, English Department

Ann Brady

There are many capacities that students recognize in an excellent teacher-the ability to inspire, to communicate passionately about one’s discipline, to lead students onto roads less traveled, to attend creatively to the individual needs of students, to introduce them to the wonder and complexity of one’s own research, and above all to celebrate in the art of teaching and in the love of one’s subject some of the joy and mystery about what it is to be human.

Our Edgar Carlson award winner for distinguished teaching for 1995 embodies all of these capacities in a splendidly successful career as a teacher.

As one student has written, “I have never worked so hard for any professor, never spent as many splendid solitary evenings in doing the research so passionately encouraged. I have never been so thoroughly accepted by a professor nor so intimately understood. All this because this bold-valued professor bas inspired and inspires me still. This professor is an example of the proper balance-the ideal merry intelligence we all thirst after. ‘Between the heron which is solitary and the wren which is sociable she dances. And there is only the dance,’ says her good friend T.S. Eliot.” Dr. Ann Brady, will you please join us on the podium.

Dr. Brady, for almost 20 years you have shared your understanding of literature, poetry, and life with hundred s of students at this great institution. You are recognized by your peers in this country and abroad as an eminent scholar of T. S. Eliot, Dante and Browning, and your brilliant discussions of these great writers have been remembered by so many of your students as cherished experiences in the college odyssey. As a Celtic folklorist and singer, you have charmed your students and colleagues with the delightful melodies of your ancestral isle. What follows in this tribute to you is a tapestry of your students’ own words, for they truly express most genuinely the reason for today ‘s award:

“Dr. Brady, you are marvelous. You take a work of literature and guide us in interpreting it, teaching us to look inward and to draw upon personal experience. You never offer any single interpretation of a literary piece but you show us how the art is relevant to our understanding of the human condition.

“Dr. Brady, you create a community and inspire. You are congenial, consistent, and compassionate and these qualities are contagious, so that, very shortly, the class has a fine spirit of community, a living community, whose activities often extend beyond the classroom. A class with you is an example of a humanities course which can permanently change and enhance a student’s life. The very air of the classroom is inspired.

“You instruct us with ease, patience and brilliant mastery of your subject matter. You are perpetually prepared; not only do you study the material you teach, you also love it, which is evident in the delightful tenderness with which you unravel your lessons to us.

“Above all, you are concerned. Foremost in an educator’s art must be this essentially human quality, or else there is an intrinsic lack in the delicate communication between instructor and student. And that is another thing about you. You do not confine yourself to the role of teacher. You allow yourself the privilege to learn, and us to teach. So the exchanges are gratefully mutual and complete-complete not in the sense that they end there, because what I have learned from you is something of a too-small taste of an irresistible fruit I must seek out for myself. The exchanges are complete because they are satisfying. ‘Satisfactory,’ T. S. Eliot would say-‘the highest compliment meaning nothing is wanting.’

“You have clarified my mind, honored and validated by ideals, and tapped whatever was in me which was already the good stuff. You are original, devoted and compassionate. After my expe1iences as your student, you are as much a part of me as the color of my eyes.”

Dr. Ann Brady, today your colleagues and students salute you and celebrate your presence among us as an inspired and distinguished teacher. Congratulations!

Presented by Thomas A. Emmert
Professor of History
1994 Recipient of the Edgar M. Carlson Award


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