No sooner had English Professor Jonathan Price retired this year than he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach abroad.
Price’s posting to the University of Lisbon in Portugal for the spring semester will enable him to combine his “loves of travel, literature, language and teaching,” according to Sheree Meyer, who nominated him for the Fulbright.
Meyer, who was his department chair before her elevation to associate dean for Undergraduate Studies, is very proud of Price. She recalls observing his lecture to a large American Literature class and being struck by his passion for the subject and an abiding sense of humor. She notes how he engaged students by asking them questions and providing provocative answers that prompted even more energetic responses.
This is Price’s second Fulbright award. He spent the 1974-75 year in Rome teaching American literature courses. And he taught writing the summer of 2008 in Thailand.
Price, who retired last May, devoted his entire career to Sacramento State. Perhaps his greatest contribution was the work he did as campus writing proficiency coordinator, a position he held for nearly two decades. The textbook he wrote, Write in Time: Essay Exam Strategies, along with his pamphlet on the state-mandated Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE), helped many students graduate on time while improving their writing skills.
So successful was Price’s WPE program that his system-wide e-mail was a continual source of information for writing coordinators throughout California State University’s 23 campuses.
During his tenure at Sacramento State, Price presided over one of the first University Visiting Scholars Committees (1978-79) and was largely responsible for bringing to campus internationally renowned academics and writers, such as John Barth, Bruno Bettelheim and John Gardner.
He also provided preview lectures for authors in the California Lecture Series, Sacramento’s non-profit series featuring prominent writers. His informative preview for John Updike’s lecture two years ago was particularly good, says Meyer. She remembers his fighting for what he believed in but having the grace to compromise when necessary, adding that Sacramento State benefited mightily from “his intelligence, integrity and good humor.”
She and Price believe that the Fulbright program not only enhances international understanding, but burnishes the academic reputation of this University as a vibrant center of learning.
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