Thursday, May 3, 2012

EFLJ Holds Retirement Reception

On Monday, April 30, EFLJ faculty, retirees, students, alumni, and fans gathered to honor Dr. Jane Frick and Dr. Ann Thorne for their years of service and friendship to the department. Over the course of two hours on a pleasant afternoon, gifts were given, stories were shared, and cake was munched.

President Vartabedian and Diane Watson visit
Jane is completing forty years in EFLJ. She arrived when one Nixon had won re-election and is leaving as another Nixon seeks it. Jane was chair of EFLJ for almost half of those forty years, 18 to be precise (1983-2001). When our colleague Judy Martin left the department because of her fight with cancer, Jane stepped down as chair and assumed duties as our English Education professor and Director of PLWP. PLWP was in pretty good shape back in 2001, but today—over a decade later—is a national model. Our Student National Council of Teachers of English has flourished under Jane’s leadership. She designed the first graduate certificate at MWSU, which resulted in first graduate diploma awarded from MWSU. She has served as a National Writing Project and DESE consultant, a Missouri Association of Teachers of English board member, served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Departments of English, received a distinguished professor award, and was the most recent recipient of the Alumni Distinguished Faculty Award (at the Alumni Assoc. banquet she regaled the audience with her time as a woman among the boys here at MWSC back in the seventies. It was Classic Jane). And in her spare time this year she has taken a year of Chinese (we hope to ship her overseas). We look forward to hearing to what Jane will put her prodigious energy.

Stacia Bensyl and Karen Fulton chat with Ann

Jane receives a PLWP T-shirt Quilt

Ann has only been here a quarter of a century. The October, 1987 EFLJ newsletter (JEM Notes)—what we did before blogs—notes that Anne Thorne is “looking forward to the production of a top-notch yearbook this year.” She goes on to say that she believes that “producing a successful yearbook gives everyone on staff a tremendous sense of accomplishment.” Many yearbook students over the past twenty-five years have had that sense of accomplishment. The yearbook under Ann has won many state-wide and national awards over the years, most notably a Gold Circle Award from the Columbia University Scholastic Press Association in both 2008 and 2009, and most recently a Silver Crown Award at Columbia University’s School of Journalism this past March 18 in NYC. She has made the yearbook at MWSU a nationally-recognized publication. She has served her profession for many years, and was recently Chair - History Division, American Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication. College Media Advisers, a national organization of her peers, awarded her a lifetime membership just this past month. She, too, is a winner of a MWSU Distinguished Professor award.

Some Crystal for the Grandkids to break
We expect to see Jane and  Ann around Eder Hall in the months to come--Jane to work part-time for Prairie Lands Writing Project and Ann to check in on (and likely feed) the Yearbook staff. Both look forward to some traveling this fall.

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