This Friday, Erin Gentry Lamb, our "Founding Director" (!) of the HASTAC Scholars program, will be moving to her new position as an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Humanities at the Center for Literature, Medicine and the Biomedical Humanities at Hiram College in Ohio. At her dissertation defense (and it was a brilliant one, I add editorially), we asked her what her dream job was, and this is the one she picked. We were so happy when Hiram picked her as their new faculty member. It's a perfect match.
I know I speak for all of us at HASTAC when I say that our new HASTAC Scholars program could not have gotten off to such a phenomenal start without Erin. It went from an idea we hatched together in the HASTAC offices one afternoon, to an enthusiastic meeting of our Steering Committee, to fifty-five scholars starting out brand new and with no expectations but a lot of energy to being an amazingly successful program that has garnered attention and interest from many quarters. That's Erin! Take an idea and make it not just happen but happen better than anyone dreamed possible.
Our ambition for the HASTAC Scholars was to create a network of the next generation. They would report on the most exciting activities at their institutions, they would tell us about their own work, they would hosts forums on pressing topics of significance to their work. HASTAC Scholars was intended to be a network where young scholars, graduate and undergraduates, who may or may not find a large cohort of colleagues, a network for their work and ideas and ambitions, at their home institutions might be part of something national or even international that would then provide a platform upon which they could build toward their own futures. Talk about a lofty ambition. And Erin was the galvanizing force behind the fifty-five exceptional scholars. For a full report, take a look at this: http://www.hastac.org/node/2226
Now, Erin. I think I met her when she was a first year graduate student in the University Scholars Program, a highly innovative interdisciplinary program where undergraduates, grad students, and professional school students all merge together, across disciplines, to talk about their own intellectual ambitions and ideas with other smart people from other disciplines. (If that sounds a bit like HASTAC Scholars, that's not entirely a coincidence since I had a role in being able to create the University Scholars Program a while back.) Erin was a natural University Scholar, energetic, engaged, full of so many ideas that didn't fit into any conventional niche. She was also so engaging, a great human being. I've been fortunate to work with hundreds of wonderful graduate students over the year but few match Erin in all the ways that Erin is in the world. Hiram College faculty and students are so lucky to have her on their faculty! They know this, but they don't even begin to really know it. Not really.
Not the way we in HASTAC have been privileged to see her in action. Generous, gentle, tough, disciplined, smart, practical, idealistic, realistic----and funny too. What more could one want in a colleague? As Director of the HASTAC Scholars, it's your show. Basically, everything we do at HASTAC grants individuals creative autonomy and then works with the best kind of collaboration. Each person does his or her thing . . . and then we come together to give feedback, challenges, insights, and other perspectives. Erin gave as much as she got, always. Always! And then some.
We are going to miss her. Our one consolation is that, true to form, she made sure her successor is also fabulous. Fiona Barnett, our new Director of the HASTAC Scholars, will be introduced to all of you shortly, and she is already moving into her role because (of course! that's Erin!) there's been a very smooth passing of the reins. It will be an exciting year and that will be Erin's legacy.
Hiram College has also agreed to fund a HASTAC Scholar, so, next year, Erin will be able to serve as mentor to one of our incoming HASTAC Scholars in her role as Assistant Professor in the Center for Literature, Medicine, and Biomedical Humanities.
Below is a "Welcome" to Erin from that new Center. We envy you, Hiram College! And we thank you, Erin, for a great year getting this fantastic HASTAC Scholars program rolling. It will flourish because of all you've given to it, you will flourish at Hiram College. And, yes, we're going to miss you, Erin. All the best of luck in your new life. Blog about it occasionally and let us know about life in Ohio and at Hiram. We will take great pride in your future.
Center Welcomes New Assistant Professor, Erin Gentry Lamb [http://www.hiram.edu/excellence/litmed/lamb.html]
The Center for Literature, Medicine, andBiomedical Humanities is delighted to announce our newest facultymember, Erin Gentry Lamb. Dr. Lamb comes to us from Duke University,where she recently completed her PhD. Her dissertation, The Age of Obsolescence: Senescence and Scientific Rejuvenation in Twentieth Century America,masterfully uses science, literature, and archival research to re-thinkhow we as culture view the process of growing ?old.? Her interests inscience and science fiction inform her scholarship and, most excitingfor us, the classes she will teach at Hiram. Dr. Lamb?s teaching andresearch have earned the recognition and support of numerousinstitutions, including the prestigious Mellon Foundation. Herpublications demonstrate a commitment to the kind interdisciplinarystudy we value most at the Center. In 2007, her moving essay, ?My Giftto Mon on Her Second Birthday: An Adult Daughter?s Perspective,?appeared in Caregiver?s Guide for Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant (Eds. Myra Jacobs and Jean Jones. National Bone Marrow Transplant LINK). Her review of Jack Morgan?s The Biology of Horror and Justin D. Edward?s Gothic Passages: Racial Ambiguity and the American Gothic appeared recently in American Literature. Dr. Lamb arrives this August. The courses she plans to teach for uspromise to widen the Center?s intellectual scope and challenge ourstudents? imaginations.