BGSU Master Teacher brings Shakespeare to life for wary students
BOWLING GREEN, O.—A faculty member with an infectious passion for British literature has been chosen by the students as the 2012 Master Teacher. Dr. Stephannie Gearhart, an assistant professor of English, has taught at Bowling Green State University for six years, sharing her love of Shakespeare and inspiring students to tackle difficult texts to find the meaning within.
Along with the admiration of her many students, Gearhart received a $1,000 check, presented by the Student Alumni Connection at the Faculty Recognition Reception March 29. The Master Teacher is the highest teaching award given by the University because students select the recipient.
In today’s fast-paced, technology-saturated environment, it might come as a surprise that students would choose a professor whose work is so firmly rooted in the past, but Gearhart bridges the divide of time and takes her students with her.
"Stephannie is one of the most caring and knowledgeable teachers I have ever met,” wrote nominator Kala Zink. “She loves the subject she teaches and is so passionate about what she’s learning that she shows that through her teaching. There is never a dull moment or boring subject when Stephannie is teaching. She also loves to teach — you can see that by just sitting in one small section of class. I loved going to her class.”
Making Shakespeare come alive seems to be her specialty. Wrote nominator Maggie Long, “She is a dedicated educator who tries her best to make sure her students are engaged in the material and understand the real world applicability of what many students find to be a dense and boring subject."
“Stephannie is an amazing professor and deserves this more than anyone I know," Zink said.
In her own research, Gearhart is especially interested in age relations in early modern English literature and culture and is at work on a book about drama and generational conflicts in Shakespeare’s England.
Gearhart received her bachelor’s degree from BGSU and her master’s and doctorate from Lehigh University, all in English.
(Posted March 30, 2012 )