Things have been very busy for me over the past six months on a number of levels, but on the academic side there’s been a good reason for the relative silence: in addition to the usual load of class preparation, grading and meetings, I’ve been working towards promotion. I’m happy to announce that the University Personnel Committee at St. John’s University just voted to approve my promotion to full professor, and after the Board of Trustees signs off in May, it will be official.
Like tenure, which was a significant milestone, reaching the highest academic rank in my field of endeavor is a really big thing for me, and I feel very satisfied in the work I did to get to this point and extremely grateful to all those who helped–my chairs and other colleagues in the Division of English and Speech and the College of Professional Studies, my dean, my students (who have always been a source of inspiration) and of course my recommenders. And of course, I’m extremely grateful to all the friends and family who helped me along the way.
But beyond all of that, just as I did after getting tenure, I found myself thinking about my parents as I walked back to my car after the committee meeting. Both of them were teachers, and as I’ve talked about before, my father got his doctorate from St. John’s. Neither one is here to celebrate with me, and that is a void I continue to feel keenly…but I feel proud to have both carried on their legacy and carved out my own path, and I absolutely felt both of them in spirit that afternoon.
To sum up, despite a host of personal challenges, in this area I feel awfully good about things…and I plan to celebrate it for a while. Just as soon, of course, as I get through this next set of papers. 🙂