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03/28/2013

John Bird Elected as New Chair of the Faculty Conference

Quick Facts

 The English professor recently was elected by faculty members and will replace outgoing chair Cliff Calloway at the beginning of the new academic year in August.
 One of Bird’s first duties will be to work with President-elect Jayne Marie (Jamie) Comstock as she takes office in July. President Anthony DiGiorgio will step down this summer after 24 years as Winthrop’s leader.

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ROCK HILL, S.C. – Professor John Bird will join the Winthrop Board of Trustees as the new chair of the Faculty Conference.

The English professor recently was elected by faculty members and will replace outgoing chair Cliff Calloway at the beginning of the new academic year in August. According to the faculty manual, the chair must be a full-time tenured faculty member.

One of Bird’s first duties will be to work with President-elect Jayne Marie (Jamie) Comstock as she takes office in July. President Anthony DiGiorgio will step down this summer after 24 years as Winthrop’s leader.

“I look forward to the challenge of serving in the roles of chair of Faculty Conference and Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees as Winthrop welcomes a new president and moves into a new era,” said Bird.

Known for his colorful teaching tips as the director of Winthrop’s Teaching and Learning Center, Bird came to Winthrop as an associate professor of English in 1993 and was promoted to professor in 2005. He teaches courses in composition, critical thinking, criticism, theory and American literature and culture, especially 19th-century American literature. He also has taught topics of special interest such as environmental literature and his primary research topic, Mark Twain.

Bird is the founding editor for "Mark Twain Annual," and current vice president of the Mark Twain Circle of America. He is author of “Mark Twain and Metaphor” (University of Missouri Press, 2007), as well as articles on Mark Twain, Henry David Thoreau and American humor.

In addition to serving as a member on the Academic Council and chairing the Graduate Faculty Assembly, Bird is past president of the American Humor Studies Association.

In 2005, he was selected as the recipient of Winthrop’s James Pinckney Kinard and Lee Wicker Kinard Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Prior to coming to Winthrop, Bird taught English for several years at Converse College where he earned the Kathryne Amelia Brown Teaching Award in 1992. He also was a visiting assistant professor or graduate assistant at the Eastman School of Music, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Rochester and Appalachian State University.

Bird earned his B.S. and M.A. from Appalachian State. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester.

Other faculty elections conducted in March resulted in the following:

Academic Council: Janice Chism
Academic Conduct: Amanda Hiner
Academic Freedom and Tenure: Michael Lipscomb
Academic Freedom and Tenure (2): Mark Mitchell
DiGiorgio Student Union Advisory Board: William Schulte
Faculty Personnel: Jo Koster Judicial Council: Kelly James
University Rules: Casey Cothran
University Rules (2): Sarah Spring
Faculty Representative to Council of Student Leaders: Jennifer Belk


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