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12/10/2015

Distinguished Professor Jo Koster to Deliver Dec. 19 Commencement Address

Quick Facts

 Jo Koster, an English professor and director of the Department of English’s graduate program, is the keynote Commencement speaker.
 Her message will be heard by December and August graduates and their guests attending the 11 a.m. Commencement at the Winthrop Coliseum.
  For the first time in more than a decade, Winthrop will combine its graduate and undergraduate Commencements.

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Jo Koster
ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Winthrop University’s 2015 Distinguished Professor Jo Koster will speak at the Dec. 19 Commencement on how students can build successful communities after graduation in her address, entitled “Alchemy and Outcomes.”

Koster, an English professor and director of the Department of English’s graduate program, is the keynote Commencement speaker. Her message will be heard by December and August graduates and their guests attending the 11 a.m. Commencement at the Winthrop Coliseum.

For the first time in more than a decade, Winthrop will combine its graduate and undergraduate Commencements. Nearly 400 students - 268 undergraduate and 57 graduate just from December – will receive their degrees in a ceremony that may also be viewed by computer via a live stream found on the Winthrop homepage.

Presiding on Dec. 19 will be Winthrop President Dan Mahony in his first Commencement ceremony since starting work in July as the university’s 11th present.

Koster was chosen as the keynote speaker because of her designation as 2015 Distinguished Professor. A prolific scholar, she has received several awards in the last few years: the university’s Jane LaRoche Graduate Faculty Award and the Southeastern Medieval Association’s annual Award for Teaching Excellence and Award for Outstanding Scholarship.

One of Koster’s great hallmarks is her dedication to bringing the Middle Ages to life. As the founding director of the university’s Medieval Studies minor, she helped bring medieval manuscript pages to the Winthrop archives so the students and scholars could work directly with these rare documents.

A dedicated and challenging teacher, Koster has taken on a wide range of courses, from General Education to upper-level English to Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes and medieval studies.

She joined Winthrop’s faculty ranks in 1993 and holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in English from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and a B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania.

For more information, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at 803/323-2404 or e-mail her at longshawj@winthrop.edu.

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