OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Department of Writing and Rhetoric awarded the X.A. Kramer Jr. Award for Outstanding Teacher to Gretchen Bunde. Bunde, an instructor in composition and rhetoric, was nominated by numerous students for her long history of excellence in teaching
“Gretchen dedicates herself to improving the writing and thinking of her students,” said Alice Johnston Myatt, assistant chair of the Department of Writing and Rhetoric and chair of the awards committee. “Her work as an exemplary writing instructor goes beyond the classroom.”
Bunde also leads a teaching circle to support professional development of teachers and serves on several committees, including curriculum, assessment and planning, Myatt said.
“I was surprised and humbled to receive the Kramer award,” Bunde said. “The DWR is filled with extraordinary educators, and I know that working with them makes me a better teacher every day.
“I’m so glad to know that my students can tell how much I care and genuinely enjoy teaching them how to become better writers.”
In their nominations, students highlighted that Bunde instilled confidence in their writing abilities, encouraged active learning and built a community in her classroom.
“With the frequency of each paper, I was able to expand my writing abilities with practice,” one student said. “The way in which she organizes her assignments helps me to create and develop good papers.”
Another student highlighted the safe environment Bunde creates for open dialogue.
“She always had group discussions and encouraged everyone to respond,” the student wrote. “She would ask us to respond to recent events in pop culture and the world around us, and then asked us to propose a solution.
“It really made me think about myself and the choices I had made in the past that may have not been the best.”
The award includes a $1,000 stipend and engraved crystal memento.
Bae Magruder established the Kramer award in 1986 in memory of her brother, X.A. Kramer Jr. The Kramer endowment supports the university’s writing and rhetoric program.
Nominations for the award open Feb. 1 of each year for instructors who taught in the preceding calendar year.