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Slagle, Edwards are ETSU’s 2008 ‘Notable Women’

Wednesday, November 05, 2008By Melissa Tate
ETSU Student Writer

JOHNSON CITY – Drs. Judith Slagle and Joellen Edwards – two women leaders selected from among the many at East Tennessee State University – will be honored during the seventh annual “Notable Women of ETSU” Colloquium set for Wednesday, Nov. 19, at 5 p.m. in the D.P. Culp University Center ballroom.

“The event offers an unusual opportunity to hear about how notable women come to be ‘notable,’” said Dr. Amber Kinser, director of the ETSU Women’s Studies Program sponsoring the event. “Anyone interested in becoming a ‘woman of distinction’ at some point, or in hearing the stories and the journeys of great women, will be pleased they attended.”

The free public program, preceded by a 4:30 p.m. reception, will honor Slagle, chair of the Department of English, and Edwards, professor of Family/Community Nursing and director of the Center for Nursing Research. An open discussion and refreshments will follow.

In 2001, Women’s Studies established the Notable Women of ETSU program to offer female faculty an opportunity to be recognized and to share their accomplishments in academia.

“I was struck by the ways that academic life often pulls us off our own campuses to bring our work to other universities,” said Kinser, a speech faculty member in the Department of Communication and a published author. “We want students, staff and faculty on our campus to possess a more holistic and accurate view of who does important work on our campus and in our community.”

Notable Women of ETSU calls for nominations from which two honorees are selected by the Women’s Studies Steering Committee.

What set this year’s recipients apart, Kinser said, was “their work in the classroom, on the campus, in the community and in their disciplines.”

Dr. Judith Slagle was selected for her work as an English professor and department chair, as well as her achievements in historical recovery projects of writers.

“I’m very proud to be chosen,” she said, “since most of the women I know who work here are ‘notable’ in some way.”

Slagle earned B.S. and M.A. degrees in English at ETSU, then left her first occupation as a writer and producer at Eastman Chemical Co. to embark on a new career in academia, graduating with her Ph.D. in English from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 1991. She taught at UT, Carson-Newman College, Middle Tennessee State University and Roane State Community College before returning to ETSU, where she has been departmental chair since 2000 and a professor for more than eight years.

“Dr. Slagle is an outstanding teacher, scholar and administrator,” said Dr. Gordon Anderson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “It is notable to find all of these in one individual.”

Slagle’s credits include an array of publications and presentations on female playwrights and authors, as well as 18th century drama. Internationally known as the “leading expert” on Scottish playwright Joanna Baillie, she has maintained her “consistent record of publications and presentations” in addition to meeting the demands as department chair. “At the same time, she cares deeply about the experiences that she and her department provide for 

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