English Professor Earns Piper Award for Teaching Excellence

The Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation has honored Elizabeth Richmond-Garza, associate professor of English at The University of Texas at Austin, for teaching excellence.

Richmond-Garza is one of 15 recipients of the 2008 Piper Professor Award given by the San Antonio-based foundation. Since 1958, the Piper Foundation has awarded $5,000 annually to professors for outstanding scholarly achievement and dedication to the teaching profession.

"Elizabeth's commitment to teaching is extraordinary, and her generosity toward students has no equal," Elizabeth Butler Cullingford, chair of the Department of English, said. "She prepares superb multi-media presentations for all of her classes, confers regularly with individual students, and makes meticulous and helpful comments on their essays. She always is ready to give extra-curricular talks and brown bag lunches, and her teaching evaluations are simply spectacular."

Richmond-Garza, who was inducted into the university's Academy of Distinguished Teachers in 2004, also has earned the Friar Centennial Teaching Fellowship and the Chad Oliver Plan II Excellence in Teaching Award. She teaches the core curriculum course "Masterworks of World Literature," as well as numerous specialized courses including "The Vampire in Imperial Culture," "Art of the Uncanny" and "Europe in 1900."

In addition to teaching, Richmond-Garza directs the Program in Comparative Literature at the university. She has worked as a professional translator and speaks French, German, Italian and Russian. She also has reading and writing skills in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese.

She is the author of "Forgotten Cites/Sights: Interpretation and the Power of Classical Citation in Renaissance English Tragedy," and has written several scholarly articles on comparative literature issues, vampires and Oscar Wilde.

Richmond-Garza earned a bachelor's degree in comparative literature and classics at the University of California at Berkeley, and master's and doctor's degrees in English at Columbia University.

View a list of previous faculty recipients of the Piper Award.