Dr. Paul Rovang, professor in the Edinboro University English and Philosophy Department, recently was recognized as the university’s 2017 Scholar of the Year. The award, which honors a faculty member who shows continued commitment to scholarship, was presented at Edinboro’s Academic Honors Convocation.
Rovang, a member of EU faculty since 1995, specializes in ancient, classical, medieval and Renaissance literatures as well as English as a Second Language (ESL). He said the Scholar of the Year award confirms his commitment to education and his belief in the power of literature and creative expression to developmental learning.
“I see it as confirming the importance of my work, as it fits into the role of my department on campus, and the importance of the arts and humanities in education as developing the whole person as an educated individual,” he said.
As part of the nomination process, Rovang submitted a list of publications in which his work has been featured, a compilation of Edinboro University courses that he helped to create and a statement about how his research is related to his teaching.
“In the context of the university and teaching four classes each semester, I need to orchestrate my research with teaching,” said Rovang, who uses material and ideas from his books in his classes. “My research is directly connected to and the product of my teaching.”
Rovang presented his research paper on Thomas Malory, author of Le Morte d'Arthur at the 52nd Annual International Congress of Medieval Studies, held May 11-14 at Western Michigan University. His paper, “Sir Thomas Malory, Theologian? Theology of the Eucharist in the Grail Quest,” was highlighted at this gathering of more than 3,000 international medieval scholars.
He has published two books on Arthurian literature, including his most recent work, “Malory’s Anatomy of Chivalry,” published in 2015 and now available in paperback. He has also published multiple scholarly essays on medieval and Renaissance British literature in various peer-reviewed journals, including Mystics Quarterly, Milton Quarterly, Fifteenth-Century Studies, Arthuriana, and Mythlore.
Dr. Rovang received two prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute grants, the first for “Anglo-Saxon England” at Western Michigan University and the second for study of the theme, “The Jew as ‘Other’ in Medieval Christendom” at Oxford University in England. A constant scholar, Rovang continues to balance other aspects of his academic life with his role as an author and researcher.
“If I am interested in something, I continue to carry on research and hammer away at it for a number of years,” he said. “I don’t usually produce something overnight.”
Rovang earned his Ph.D. in English from Michigan State University in 1991. His graduate education focused on medieval and Renaissance literature with a secondary focus on Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). He taught at Fukui University in Japan and Northwest College in Washington prior to his arrival in Edinboro.
Photo caption: Dr. Paul Rovang of the English and Theatre Department recently was named Edinboro University’s Scholar of the Year. President H. Fred Walker makes the presentation.