Named Professorships

Named professorships provide support for a focused area and are funded by gifts from individual donors. Initial funding for the Sparks professorships came from an NEH challenge grant endowment created in Penn State’s first capital campaign in the 1980s.


Criteria

  • Be current, active members of the faculty holding the rank of professor
  • Be outstanding leaders in their fields of scholarship and creative activity, well beyond other peers at the rank, as documented by the publication record; grants, awards, and citations; national and international presentations; leadership roles in professional associations and with professional publications; and evaluations by peer reviewers
  • Have a sustained record of excellence in teaching undergraduates and (where appropriate) graduate students, as documented by teaching evaluations, placement and publications of graduate students supervised, teaching awards, instructional innovations, and other similar indicators.
  • Be leaders in their departments, College, or university, as documented by major roles in key committees, significant participation in departmental and interdisciplinary program initiatives, active mentoring of junior faculty, and other similar indicators
  • Relinquish all other endowed titled or distinguished professorships or chairs within Penn State
  • Be a faculty member in a humanities discipline, including humanists in social science departments (for Sparks Professorships)

Nomination and Selection Process

Periodically the Dean sends out a call to department heads for nominations. The Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies sets up a small committee of named and distinguished faculty to review the nominations and make recommendations to the Dean.

Current Named Professors

  • Duane Alwin, Tracy Winfree and Ted H. McCourtney Professor of Sociology and Demography
  • Thomas O. Beebee, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Comparative Literature and German
  • Robert Bernasconi, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Philosophy and African American Studies
  • Michael Bérubé, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Literature
  • William A. Blair, Walter L. and Helen P. Ferree Professor of Middle American History
  • Tobias Brinkmann, Malvin E. and Lea P. Bank Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and History
  • Suresh Canagarajah, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Applied Linguistics, English and Asian Studies
  • Patrick Cheney, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English and Comparative Literature
  • Claire Colebrook, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English
  • Sophie De Schaepdrijver, Helen P. and Walter L. Ferree Professor of History
  • Richard Doyle, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English
  • Caroline Eckhardt, Mary Jean and Frank P. Smeal Chair in Literary Theory and Comparative Criticism and Professor of Comparative Literature and English
  • Robert R. Edwards, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English and Comparative Literature
  • Daniel Falk, Professor of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies and Chaiken Family Chair in Jewish Studies
  • Keith Gilyard, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English and African American Studies
  • Jennifer Glick, Arnold S. and Bette G. Hoffman Professor of Sociology
  • Amy Greenberg, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of American History and Women's Studies
  • Emily Grosholz, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Philosophy, English, and African American Studies
  • Debra Hawhee, McCourtney Professor of Civic Deliberation and Professor of English and Communication Arts and Sciences (Senior Scholar of the McCourtney Institute for Democracy)
  • Ronnie Po-chia Hsia, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of History and Asian Studies
  • Karen E. Johnson, William J.and Catherine Craig Kirby Professor in Language Learning
  • Rosemary Jolly, Weiss Chair in the Humanities and Professor of Comparative Literature, English, Bioethics, African Studies, and Women's Studies
  • Michael Kulikowski, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of History and Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies
  • James Lantolf, George C. and Jane G. Greer Professor in Language Acquisition and Professor of Applied Linguistics
  • Leonard R. Lawlor, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Philosophy
  • Lynn Liben, McCourtney Professor of Child Studies and Professor of Psychology, Human Development and Family Studies, and Education
  • John Lipski, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Spanish and Linguistics
  • David Loewenstein, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English and the Humanities
  • David Lowery, Bruce R. Miller and Dean D. LaVigne Professor of Political Science and Public Policy
  • Michael M. Naydan, Woskob Family Professor in Ukrainian Studies and Professor of Slavic Languages
  • Jeffrey T. Nealon, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English and Philosophy
  • Aldon Lynn Nielsen, George and Barbara Kelly Professor of American Literature
  • Matthew Restall, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Colonial Latin American History, Anthropology, and Women’s Studies
  • Aaron Rubin, Malvin E. and Lea P. Bank Professor of Jewish Studies, Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, and Linguistics
  • Jack Selzer, Paterno Family Liberal Arts Professor in Literature
  • Willa Silverman, Malvin E. and Lea P. Bank Professor of French and Jewish Studies
  • Christina Snyder, McCabe Greer Professor of the History of the American Civil War Era
  • Nancy A. Tuana, DuPont/Class of 1949 Professor in Ethics and Professor of Philosophy, Humanities, and Women's Studies
  • Jennifer Van Hook, Roy C. Buck Professor of American Institutions and Sociology and Demography
  • James L. W. West III, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English

Former Named Professors (retired or holding other titles)

  • Paul B. Amato, Arnold S. and Bette G. Hoffman Professor Emeritus of Family Sociology and Demography
  • Thomas W. Benson, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor Emeritus of Rhetoric
  • Karen L. Bierman, McCourtney Professor of Child Studies, and Professor of Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies
  • Gerard Brault, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor Emeritus of French and Medieval Studies
  • Suresh Canagarajah, William J. and Catherine Craig Kirby Professor of Language Learning
  • William Duiker, Liberal Arts Professor Emeritus of East Asian Studies
  • Glenn Firebaugh, Roy C. Buck Professor Emeritus in American Institutions and Sociology and Demography
  • Thomas A. Hale, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor Emeritus of African, French and Comparative Literature
  • Baruch Halpern, Chaiken Family Chair in Jewish Studies Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Ancient History and Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies
  • J. Michael Hogan, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor Emeritus of Rhetoric
  • Robert D. Hume, Evan Pugh Professor of English (1991 Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English)
  • Kathryn Hume, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor Emerita of English
  • J. Philip Jenkins, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor Emeritus of the Humanities
  • Djelal Kadir, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature
  • Gerald N. Knoppers, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor Emeritus of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies and Jewish Studies
  • Norris J. Lacy, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor Emeritus of French and Medieval Studies
  • Joan Landes, Helen P. and Walter L. Ferree Professor Emerita of Early Modern History and Women’s Studies
  • Wilson J. Moses, Walter L. and Helen P. Ferree Professor Emeritus of Middle American History
  • Mark E. Neely, Jr., McCabe Greer Professor Emeritus in the American Civil War Era
  • Carol Reardon, George Winfree Professor Emerita of American History
  • Paul Lawrence Rose, Mitrani Family Professor Emeritus of Jewish Studies and Professor Emeritus of European History
  • William R. Schmalsteig, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor Emeritus of Slavic Languages and Linguistics
  • Robert Schoen, Hoffman Professor of Family Sociology and Demography
  • Susan M. Squier, Julia Gregg Brill Professor Emerita of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and English
  • Linda Woodbridge, Josephine Berry Weiss Chair Emerita in the Humanities and Professor Emerita of English and Women's Studies
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