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Dr. Jennifer Spock Named a 2021 EKU Foundation Professor

Jennifer Spock

The Department of History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies congratulates Dr. Jennifer Spock on being named one of the 2021 EKU Foundation Professors, along with Dr. Myra Beth Bundy of the Department of Psychology.

Dr. Jennifer Spock received her bachelor’s in Russian and East European Studies, and her master’s and Ph.D. in History from Yale University. She joined the faculty of Eastern Kentucky University in 2000 and attained the rank of professor in 2011. Her areas of specialty include Russian History, the History of Christianity to 1650, and The History of Western Spirituality 1200-1450.

“I would hope that the position of Foundation Professor might enable me to open metaphorical doors for others and give me a broader voice in promoting teaching, as well as EKU’s social sciences and humanities as important complements to the other valuable programs on campus,” Spock said. “I was, of course, deeply appreciative that I had been selected for the honor, and further appreciated President McFadden’s taking the time from his busy schedule to make a personal phone call.”

Spock has taught World Civilization I & II and Honors Civilization I & II in addition to many undergraduate and graduate classes dealing extensively with various aspects and periods of Russian and Eurasian History. She has been an active thesis mentor for the Honors Program as well. Dr. Spock has received Distinguished Educational Leadership Awards from EKU as well as a Critical Thinking Teacher of The Year Award for the 2015-16 academic year. Her record of service to the department, college and university is extensive, including numerous search committees, and her professional service includes a stint as editor of Eastern Christian Studies (2005-16, a sub-series of Ohio Slavic Papers) and as president of the Association for the Study of Eastern Christian History and Culture (2009-2012). She has published numerous articles on pre-1700 Russian history, with her main focus on religion, especially monasticism.

“Being awarded the position of a Foundation Professor means that a number of colleagues spent time digging into my record and reading about those activities that were important to me in my career here, and that alone is appreciated,” Spock said. “Other colleagues were asked to write letters of support for my nomination, and that is rather humbling as well. That they considered the work I’ve done over the years to cumulatively represent the level of a Foundation Professor is gratifying.”

In 1987 the Eastern Kentucky University Foundation established a program to recognize "creative, self-motivated exemplars of the ideal college professor." All full-time tenured faculty are eligible for the two-year professorship which comes with an extra salary stipend of $5,000 a year. The selection is based on the University's standard criteria for promotion, tenure, and merit. Selection currently is made by a committee composed of members of the Society of Foundation Professors.

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Published on May 03, 2021

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