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Barry V. QuallsBarry V. Qualls, Professor of English and FAS Dean of Humanities, receives distinguished award at a reception hosted by President Richard L. McCormick to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers.

This award recognizes the important role Barry Qualls has played in supporting women’s education and feminist study in a variety of ways and from a variety of positions at Rutgers almost from the moment of his arrival as an assistant professor of English in 1971. Professor Qualls has been a unique and irreplaceable voice as a fellow of Douglass College, a faculty member in the English Department, and an FAS dean in the development of Women’s and Gender Studies from an interdisciplinary program to one of eleven Ph.D. granting departments nationwide.

Dr. Qualls has a history of distinguished leadership in the Rutgers community. As head of the graduate program in English, he played a significant role in broadening the offerings to include courses on women writers and feminist theory. He later chaired the English Department from 1989 to 1997 during a time when the department’s rankings climbed nationally, especially in the fields of

African-American literature, women’s literature, and feminist theory. A long-time fellow of Douglass College he teaches regularly in the Honors program there and is a recipient of the Douglass Medal for Distinguished Service. Dr. Qualls won the prestigious Warren I. Susman Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1985 and has been chair or co-chair of three successive task forces on undergraduate education. He has played and continues to play a significant role in shaping undergraduate living and learning. As a teacher and mentor to countless students, Dr. Qualls has inspired them to read women writers and to understand how a legacy of 18th and 19th century ideas about women continues to inform contemporary gender relations.

Faculty recognize Barry as a “co-conspirator” in the early days of crafting the new field—women’s studies—devoted to women’s lives and perspectives. A dean at key moments in Women’s and Gender Studies’ quest to become a department Dr. Qualls’ tough questions, knowledge of the university, and strong belief in the value of interdisciplinary and feminist scholarship and teaching on women proved invaluable. This award recognizes the myriad ways Dean Qualls has supported women and women’s studies at Rutgers University. He was there at the beginning, stayed through the adolescence, and is helping launch us into the future.

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