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Pitt writing professor gets Pa. honor

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Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A University of Pittsburgh English professor who has helped students grasp the value of writing on Thursday was named Pennsylvania's 2013 Professor of the Year.

David Bartholomae, who teaches within all of Pitt's undergraduate English programs, won the honor at an awards luncheon and congressional ceremony in Washington. The event, sponsored by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, recognizes excellence in teaching and mentoring of undergraduate students.

“The ability to write clearly and effectively is one of the most valuable skills that an individual can develop, and through his work as a teacher, researcher, and editor, David Bartholomae has helped countless undergraduate students at Pitt and beyond flourish as writers,” said Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson.

Bartholomae teaches general education classes, courses for majors in the literature program, and courses in nonfiction writing and journalism. He regularly instructs a section of Pitt's first-year composition course.

“My goal is to prepare students to engage meaningfully with the forms of knowledge we value as academics and as intellectuals. This means challenging students with texts they are not yet prepared to read and intellectual work that is beyond their immediate grasp,” Bartholomae said.

It's also important, he said, to prepare others “to value the writing of young adults and to respond to it with the same care and attention we give to any serious written work.”

A member of Pitt's English department since 1975, Bartholomae was named the university's Charles Crow Chair in 2009. He served as department chair from 1995 to 2009 and as director of the composition program from 1980 to 1989.

He was a center associate for Pitt's Learning Research and Development Center from 1979 to 1989.

Debra Erdley is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach her at 412-320-7996 or

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