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Oct. 26: Noted education scholar, historian gives Samet Memorial Lecture

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

FREDERICK, Md.—A prominent literary historian and educator will discuss the ways in which schools can promote learning for all students Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. in Hodson Auditorium in Rosenstock Hall at Hood College.

The Tom Samet Memorial Lecture is given in memory of Hood’s former vice president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty who died in 2000. It is made possible by a donation from Barry Gross, Ph.D., former professor of English at Michigan State University, and his wife, Sandra, who wanted to memorialize Samet and honor their 30-year friendship with him.

Gerald Graff, Ph.D., professor of English and education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will give a lecture entitled “Demystifying the Academic Game.” Considered one of his generation’s most influential commentators on education, Graff, in his writings and teachings, argues that high schools and colleges can do more to develop better writers and thinkers among all students.

The Chicago native is the co-author of four books, including a basic writing textbook, “‘They Say/ISay’: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing,” which has experienced sales-setting records in colleges and high schools; and “Clueless in Academe: How Schooling Obscures the Life of the Mind.”

Graff served as president of the Modern Language Association and was named the 2010 winner of the Francis Andrew March Award for distinguished service to the profession of English by the MLA’s Associated Departments of English.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Chicago and a doctorate in English and American literature from Stanford University.

Gross served as the associate chair of English and as the first director of Jewish studies at Michigan State University, where he taught for nearly 35 years. As a Fulbright lecturer, and in other fellowship capacities, he taught at numerous institutions around the world, including in England, Israel, Portugal and Turkey. He specializes in 20th century American literature and Jewish-American literature.

Gross earned his doctoral degree in English from Ohio State University.

Prior to his five-year tenure at Hood, Samet held teaching and administrative positions at the Douglass College of Rutgers, The Pennsylvania State University, Northwestern State University of Louisiana and Maryville University in St. Louis, Mo., and completed a Fulbright lectureship in Warsaw, Poland. As an undergraduate student at Michigan State University, he took numerous literature courses from Gross, who became his mentor and lifelong friend.

Samet earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Michigan State University and a doctorate from Brown University.

For more information, contact Lenora Dietzel, administrative assistant to the provost, at (301) 696-3623 or by e-mail at