Dr. Gian Pagnucci, interim chair of the Department of English at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, has been selected as IUP’s 2009–2010 University Professor.
This award is presented to an IUP faculty member who demonstrates an outstanding record of teaching, research, and scholarly activity and service.
It was reinstituted at the university for the 2007–2008 academic year by Dr. Tony Atwater, IUP president. Dr. Jack Stamp, professor of Music, received the award for 2008–2009.
The award will continue to be presented on an annual basis.
“Teaching and scholarship represent the heart and soul of the university's mission,” Atwater said. “Our faculty members reflect the very best of the teacher-scholar model, and it is most appropriate to honor the best of the best with this prestigious honor. University professors have a record of extraordinary instructional and intellectual success.”
The purpose of the University Professorship is to recognize, reward, and encourage IUP faculty who are actively engaged in research and scholarly activity that advance the faculty member’s discipline or the teaching of the discipline.
In addition to the lifetime title of University Professor, Pagnucci will receive a $5,000 grant through the Foundation for IUP to support his research activities.
In 2008, Pagnucci was selected for the Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Technology from the International Conference on College Teaching and Learning and the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning.
Pagnucci has been at IUP since 1995 and is the winner of a 1999 IUP Teaching Excellence Award from the Center for Teaching Excellence. He was awarded for helping to develop an on-line system for allowing students to comment electronically on paper drafts.
Pagnucci is the author of three books: Re-Mapping Narrative: Technology’s Impact on the Way We Write, Living the Narrative Life: Stories as a Tool for Meaning Making, and a children’s book of folk tales, Don’t Count Your Chickens! Stories for Kids to Tell! He has also written and published a number of creative nonfiction pieces about his Italian-American childhood. These stories include Moscatello Wine and The Italian Dentist.
He has edited two journal collections and published sixteen articles and book chapters on how best to teach writing, particularly writing in the digital age. He also has given more than forty national and international presentations, more than twenty-five regional and local presentations, and seventeen workshops, all focused on ways to improve college teachers’ pedagogy, principally by bringing technology into that pedagogy.
He has directed or co-directed a number of conferences at IUP and in the region, including the Pennsylvania Statewide English Conference at IUP in 2001, annual IUP English conferences, and The Future of Narrative Discourse conferences in Pittsburgh. He has been a dissertation director for twenty-five IUP doctoral students and a dissertation reader for more than fifty IUP doctoral students.
He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. Before working in education, Pagnucci worked as a professional technical writer.
“Throughout my academic career, I have always worked hard to achieve my goal of being a first-rate teacher-scholar,” Pagnucci said. “That is why I accepted a faculty position at IUP. Fourteen years later, I think my own success at IUP has come because our university truly does support the work of teacher-scholars.
“If we want students to be successful in the Information Age, we must find ways to teach students how to be powerful writers and readers in the digital milieu. This is the goal I have pursued as a professor at IUP.”
During his tenure as University Professor, Pagnucci will launch a Digital English Teaching Project, conducting research on current practices for teaching digital English across the country. Ultimately, he will write a book that outlines a philosophy and pedagogy for teaching English through the use of social media technologies such as blogs, wikis, Facebook, and Second Life.
“In developing this project, I’ve worked to envision how a research project on digital English teaching practices could be used not only to contribute to the field of English, but also as a vehicle for contributing to the technological learning needs of IUP faculty and for electronically highlighting the profile of the University Professorship.”