Oscar and Shoshana Trachtenberg Award for Sustained Service to the University
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Oscar and Shoshana Trachtenberg Award for Sustained Service to the University

Mark Blackwell, PhD

English and Modern Languages

Professor Mark Blackwell

An upbeat doer, Mark Blackwell, PhD, has contributed a seemingly endless range of service and activities on and off campus, making him the ideal candidate for the Oscar and Shoshana Trachtenberg Award, which honors full-time faculty members for their sustained service to the University.

Blackwell joined the Department of English in 2001 and, as chair from 2004 to 2009, was instrumental in overhauling the department’s curriculum. He also served as associate dean of curriculum and academic planning in the College of Arts and Sciences for five years, chair of the Department of Rhetoric and Professional Writing, and interim chair of the cinema program.

On the University level, Blackwell served on the Senate Curriculum Committee and currently is contributing to the University’s strategic plan, with a specific focus on improving the academic experience for students. Blackwell says he is particularly proud of his involvement in programs that provide opportunities for students, including the pre-law program and the University’s preceptor program, which he has directed since 2009. He has also served as director of the University Honors Program.

Blackwell has chaired numerous faculty search committees and has been deeply involved in faculty development, including overseeing the college’s mentoring program for junior faculty and serving on the leadership team for a Davis Educational Foundation Grant supporting faculty experiments with“flipping the classroom.”

He has been a member of the Mortensen Library Board of Visitors for many years and is a member of the Libraries Master Planning Committee.

As Professor Robert Logan, chair of the Department of English, noted in his nomination, Blackwell, through“unceasing efforts and remarkable effectiveness, has become a role model for idealized service and dedication to the well-being of the University.”

Blackwell, who teaches 17th-, 18th-, and early 19th-century British literature and culture at the University, earned his AB in English from Princeton University, and received his PhD from Cornell University.