Perrin named top scholar, teacher

November 21 2008

Robert Perrin, professor and chair of the English department at Indiana State University, has been named the 2008 Scholar-Teacher by the Indiana College English Association (ICEA). The award was presented at the organization's annual conference.

"Composition and rhetoric pedagogy can be dry and full of jargon, but Dr. Perrin's approach is always fresh, insightful and most of all, adaptable to real classes and real students," said Laurel Smith, ICEA president. "His reputation as an outstanding teacher and mentor extends far beyond his home campus in central Indiana."

A professional organization, the ICEA is equally dedicated to scholarship and teaching.

"For me, it's always been a combination of the two," Perrin said. "The teaching triggers what I work on."

Perrin joined the faculty at Indiana State in 1981. Since then, he has earned the Outstanding Faculty Award, Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award, a distinguished professor award from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Theodore Dreiser Distinguished Research/Creativity Award.

Perrin has written seven books on writing, research and style, in addition to numerous articles and reviews. He often uses classroom experiences and teaching challenges as departure points for his work.

"I view teaching as a kind of apprenticeship. I can't ask my students to write if I don't write," he said. "I always feel like every day is an example."

That example proved beneficial for Chad Bebee, an English instructor at Vincennes University who earned a master's of art degree from Indiana State.

"When I began graduate school at Indiana State, Rob was a supervising professor of the new teaching assistants. As one of his pupils, I can attest to Rob's skills as a teacher, and as one of his graduate students, I can attest to his qualities as a mentor," Bebee said. "With patience, good humor and a dedication to excellence, Rob helped us to refine our teaching methods and find the confidence we needed to succeed."

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Photo: Robert Perrin

Writer: Emily Taylor, assistant director of media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or etaylor16@indstate.edu

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Robert Perrin, professor and chair of the English department at Indiana State University, has been named the 2008 Scholar-Teacher by the Indiana College English Association (ICEA). The award was presented at the organization's annual conference.

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