Stephen J. Prior Professor of the Humanities, Maurice Geracht, received the 2014 Distinguished Teaching Award at the College’s annual President’s Convocation and Awards Ceremony. He has been a member of the English department and the College of the Holy Cross faculty since 1966.
The award recognizes and honors the teaching excellence of the College’s faculty. After careful review of nominations, a committee of students, faculty, and administrators selects the honoree, a member of the faculty who demonstrates the College’s commitment to teaching and personalized instruction by making ideas come alive for students both in and out of the classroom. The Distinguished Teaching Award recipient is invited to give the principal address during the President’s Convocation and is awarded an honorarium.
Geracht, who was born and raised in Paris and moved to America as an adolescent, received his B.A. in English with honors from City College, New York and received both his M.A. in English and Ph.D. in English/American literature from the University of Wisconsin. During his career at Holy Cross he has published numerous papers, has demonstrated a deep commitment to editing and co-editing multiple volumes of the bilingual journal “Interfaces,” and has coordinated multiple International Word and Image Conferences worldwide. He was also instrumental in creating the study abroad program at the College.
Throughout the president’s convocation, there were many fond stories told of Geracht—of his teaching style and his enthusiasm for sharing knowledge. One of the students who took a course in Paris with Geracht remarked, “Professor Geracht told me that his goal in teaching was not just to teach, but rather to make us aware of our surroundings and live. This is exactly what he did, he made us aware and thus we are able to live better lives.”
Geracht is currently working on his own word and image research, specifically the connections between W.M. Thackeray’s verbal texts and his graphic texts. He is focusing on Thackeray’s “Book of Snobs,” a collection of satirical works that were originally published in magazine form. The honorarium that Geracht received will be put to good use by trying to secure rare first editions of Thackeray’s works, which include all his illustrations. Such editions are rare, as most 19th century and modern editions are incomplete and do not include all of his illustrations, if any.
The Raymond J. Swords, S.J. Faculty Medal was also awarded at the President’s Convocation, honoring those members of the faculty who have served the College for 25 years or more. This year’s recipients were: Hussein Adam, associate professor of political science; Noel Cary, professor of history; Stephen Kocs, professor of political science; Kolleen Rask, professor of economics; Susan Rodgers, professor of anthropology; and Ann McDermott, director of admissions.
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