Classics professor honored for teaching excellence

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Technically Latin is a dead language, but that’s not how it feels when taught by William (Bill) Stull, associate professor of the classics. Stull recently was awarded the 2011 Award for Excellence in Teaching by The American Philological Association (APA), which is the principal learned society in North America for the study of ancient Greek and Roman languages, literatures, and civilizations.

The award recognizes Stull for his “academic rigor, delight in learning, breadth of knowledge, and the ability to awaken intellectual curiosity.” Annually it is given to only one to three collegiate instructors in the classics nationwide.

In announcing the award, the APA highlighted Stull’s innovative classroom assignments in a field that is often dominated by straightforward translation exercises. Instead, Stull challenges students to go a step farther and confront issues of genre and style via assignments such as the translation of Samuel Jonson’s letter to the Earl of Chesterfield into Ciceronian Latin.

In addition to students’ enthusiastic support for Stull — one commented “Stull is always top-notch because he’s a god!” — the APA also noted that Stull has been integral in recruiting and fostering classics majors, playing a key role in the ongoing success of the Department of the Classics at Colgate.

This spring Stull will be teaching Legacies of the Ancient World, Elementary Latin II, and Cicero’s Letters.