FLORENCE – Pamela A. Rooks of Florence has been selected the J. Lorin Mason Distinguished Professor for the 2006-07 year at Francis Marion University.
Announced at a campus banquet April 19, this award has been given since the 1975-76 school year and is based upon a faculty member’s contributions to teaching, professional service and scholarly activities.
The award, named in honor of the former chairman of the FMU Board of Trustees, is the highest honor to be bestowed upon a faculty member. It will be presented at FMU’s spring commencement Saturday, May 5. The award carries a cash prize.
As a result of her selection, Rooks will be the Francis Marion University nominee for the Governor’s Professor of the Year Award competition next fall.
“Pam is an extraordinary professor and a gifted scholar,” said FMU President Fred Carter. “For the past seven years, she has directed the University's Honors Program and has worked to establish an exemplary curriculum for our most accomplished students. She is richly deserving of this recognition.”
A native of Durham, N.C., Rooks has been a member of the FMU faculty since 1989. A professor of English and director of the Honors Program, she earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, in 1975, and a doctorate in English literature from the University of York - Heslington, in York, England in 1982.
Rooks became director of the FMU Honors Program in 1999 with a three-year term. Her appointment has been renewed twice since that time. Founded in 1970, the Honors Program is designed to give gifted and ambitious students in all majors the opportunity to work with FMU’s most stimulating faculty, like Rooks, in small but challenging classes.
Nominated for Distinguished Professor five times in the past seven years, Rooks has made her mark on the university and throughout the community. At FMU, she has been a member of and often chaired search committees for instructors. She has been the faculty representative on the Academic Freedom and Tenure Grievance subcommittee, on the Faculty Grievance committee and the Academic Affairs committee, to name a few.
Rooks is also an adviser to Honors, English students and those with undeclared majors. She received the AAUP Shared Governance Award in 2003 and was elected senator for FMU’s Faculty Senate for two terms to end this year.
In the community, she and her husband, John, have directed numerous plays at the Florence Little Theatre to include Joe Di Pietro’s Over the River and Through the Woods and Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers. The two also serve as reviewers of Florence Little Theatre productions.
She has published many papers over the years and has presented at conferences all over the world.
She and her husband have two children.