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English professor Oakes honored for faculty excellence


Dr. Margaret Oakes

Furman University English professor Margaret J. Oakes has received a major award from the Association for General and Liberal Studies (AGLS) in recognition of her teaching and innovative leadership at the university.

Oakes will receive the award during the 55th Annual Meeting of AGLS to be held in Milwaukee, Wis., Sept. 24-26.

The Jerry G. Gaff Award for Faculty Excellence in General and Liberal Education is given annually to those who have demonstrated leadership on their campuses in the area of general and liberal education; who have shown evidence of outstanding teaching in general and liberal education courses; and who have a record of achievement in curriculum development, innovation, or implementation in general and liberal education.

In a letter to Dr. Oakes, AGLS Executive Director Joyce Lucke said, “… your dedication to student success over 15-plus years made you stand out among the candidates.”

Part of the honor is a cash award along with a special session in the conference to discuss Furman’s general education program and/or initiatives.

The award is named for Jerry Gaff, retired Senior Scholar of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and a respected advocate for general and liberal education for more than 30 years.

Oakes, who holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University and a J.D. from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, joined the Furman faculty in 1996. An author of numerous scholarly articles and essays, she teaches early modern literature and humanities courses. Her specialty is 16th and 17th century British poetry, and the religious poetry of John Donne and George Herbert. Oakes’ research interests are Milton, Shakespeare, Margaret Cavendish, 17th century book frontispiece portraits, early modern humanist education, the history of scientific writing, Reformation theology, British detective fiction, and children’s fantasy literature.

Oakes is faculty advisor for English honor society Sigma Tau Delta, and has served as coach for Furman’s award-winning Mock Trial program.

She has received the Furman Meritorious Advising Award (2002), Faculty Member of the Year by the Association of Furman Students (2006), Sigma Tau Delta Outstanding Advisor (2006), and was listed among Princeton Review’s “300 best professors in the United States” (2012).

For more information, contact Furman’s News and Media Relations Office at (864) 294-3107.

Last updated September 4, 2015
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director