ROCK HILL, S.C. - Winthrop University has selected Jane Bowman Smith, director of the Writing Center, as its Margaret M. Bryant Professor for the Department of English.
The professorship rewards outstanding teaching, scholarship and service to Winthrop and helps enrich the department through support of faculty. Created in 1997, the Margaret M. Bryant Professorship is given in memory of Winthrop’s first graduate to earn a Ph.D.
"I am honored to be the third recipient of the ‘Margaret M. Bryant Professor of English’ Award," said Smith. "Dr. Gloria Jones and Dr. William Naufftus, the two earlier recipients, are well known in my department for the excellence of their teaching and their commitment to their students; I feel that I am in very distinguished company. And of course I am very grateful that Ms. Bryant valued teaching to this extent and gave us this award."
Smith joined the Winthrop faculty in 1987 as an assistant professor of English and was promoted to associate professor in 1994 and to professor in 2001. She worked as the Writing Center’s acting director in 1992-93 and then took over the job as director in 1998. She conceptualized, implemented and now teaches the course that trains the center’s tutors.
"As a teacher, scholar, and university citizen, Dr. Smith has shown the talent and the dedication that the Margaret Bryant Professorship requires; Jane is clearly a role model for her students and her colleagues," said Debra Boyd, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Her colleagues report that Smith is known for her willingness to work with students both inside and outside the classroom. She regularly offers "directed readings" for students who need or want advanced writing courses and whose schedules do not permit their taking the course at the scheduled time.
"Jane Smith is a dedicated, skilled, student-centered teacher whose priority is student learning. Her classes are rigorous and meticulously planned; consequently students consistently comment favorably on the learning experience, even when they don’t expect high grades," said Gloria Jones, chair of the Department of English. "Jane is an asset to the English Department and to the University. This honor is very well deserved."
Smith also encourages student scholarship in areas of composition, rhetoric and Writing Center pedagogy, and issues related to Writing Center tutoring. She has mentored student scholars who have given presentations at the Southeastern Writing Association Conference and at national and international conferences.
Although Smith’s major area is composition and rhetoric and most of her scholarship is in this field, she is a published poet and frequently does poetry readings at local and national venues. Smith put together an exhibit this past summer with her sister who is an artist at Saginaw Valley State University that showcased Jane’s poetry with her sister’s art. Smith is currently completing her second scholarly book begun with her late colleague, Dorothy Perry Thompson, on race and writing, entitled "The Elephant in the Classroom: Race and Writing."
Smith also has presented and written articles on the Myers Briggs personality profile as it relates to composition and rhetoric.
She holds a bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Case Western Reserve University.