Silver Circles: Jennifer Rupert

Jennifer Ruper; Silver Circle Award Winner

Jennifer Rupert, senior lecturer, English and gender and women’s studies. Photo: Jenny Fontaine

Since 1966, the Silver Circle Award has been presented to some of UIC’s best teachers. Winners, who are honored at their college commencements, receive $500 and their names join a long list of distinguished colleagues. But what makes the award especially meaningful is its selection committee: the graduating seniors.

Silver Circles: 1
Years at UIC:  20

What does it mean to win this award from the graduating seniors?

It confirms for me that I have chosen the right path. I came to UIC as a Ph.D. candidate determined to devote my career to undergraduate education. That our students think of the time they spent studying with me as a memorable and valuable part of their undergraduate experience is incredibly affirming.

What do you teach?

I teach first-year writing courses on the political use of space in Chicago; general education courses on gender, sexuality, and literature; honors core courses in critical media studies; and writing-in-the discipline courses in English and gender and women’s studies.

How do you engage students in your courses?

I aim to create a collaborative learning environment and encourage my students to demonstrate intellectual curiosity. In courses designed for more advanced learners, students share a great deal of responsibility in co-designing course materials through creative projects and in-class sharing sessions. For students in my first-year writing courses, I often motivate and encourage by sharing stories of how I developed my own study habits as a first-generation college student.

What are your research interests?

My research and teaching interests include rhetoric and writing, Transatlantic modernism, women’s literature, feminist and queer theory, feminism and social change, the history of sexuality, and critical media studies.

What is your advice to graduating students?

I want to urge our graduating seniors to harness the power of their education for creating social change through meaningful career choices.  Our students are in possession of the grit, determination, intelligence, and know-how to make the world a better place for us all.

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