“Wonder Woman” is how Rachel Marshall, sophomore communications major, described Amy Sage Webb, associate professor English, co-director of the creative writing program, and Emporia State’s 2012 Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professor. Marshall praised Webb in a letter, reinforcing her opinion on Webb’s eligibility for the honor.
“She does it all,” Marshall said. “I don’t know how she reads everyone’s work and knows exactly what happened and what goes on in each story.”
Last Tuesday, Webb said she was shocked when the award was presented to her during her advanced fiction writing class.
“I never quite got it back together after that,” Webb said.
The Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professorship was established in 1979. The Distinguished Professor is accomplished in a multitude of areas, including success in teaching, encouragement of academic success in students and editorial work for professional journals. The Distinguished Professor will also speak at the winter and spring commencement ceremonies.
“It’s an honor,” Webb said. “I’m going to take it seriously. I’m going to bring the best words that I can. (Teaching has) been the best experience of my life here – it’s a great gift to get to do it.”
Webb has taught at ESU since 1996. She said the university gives her the chance to focus on the community factor of a classroom. She may have one student from freshman seminar through graduate school. In her classes, she has one day at the end of the semester where an “award” is given to each student.
“It’s a way of acknowledging that we played this role in each other’s lives,” Webb said. “It’s important for me to say something good about every student at the end of the semester.”
No one student is the same, and no one class is the same, Webb said. One student even inspired her to work toward teaching a Women and Wilderness class next semester.
“I want to keep teaching because every semester the students do something interesting and inspiring,” Webb said.
Marshall also regarded Webb as a role model. When she started the RSO B.U.I.L.D. Beauty last spring semester, Marshall needed a faculty adviser. She immediately thought of Webb.
“I wanted a strong woman and someone I looked up to,” Marshall said. “She’s just so involved and does everything, but she’s still so calm and classy and sophisticated. She carries herself well even with all the things that she has to do.”
Michelle Thompson, senior secondary English education major, used words like “fun, motivational and energetic” to describe Webb.
“I like how she’s really dynamic,” Thompson said. “I think she does a really good job of emphasizing the creative part and letting us go free reign.”
Marshall said she was not surprised when Webb was announced as the recipient.
“I think she totally deserves it,” Marshall said. “She’s amazing.”