A Fresh Approach
Bach Awarded 2011 Ireland Award for Scholarly Distinction
Sergey Mirov, Stephen Watts, Rebecca Bach, Jim McClintock, and Colin Davis with Caroline Ireland (seated)
Rebecca Ann Bach, Ph.D., first fell in love with the works of William Shakespeare as a sixth grader at a tiny Presbyterian grammar school in New York. She was picked to play Calpurnia in Julius Caesar and stood before her class robed in a purple bed sheet, letting Shakespeare’s words roll off her 10-year-old tongue.
Today, Bach is an English professor in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences who captivates her students and colleagues with her command of 16th- and 17th-century literature. She received the 2011 Ireland Award for Scholarly Distinction at the award dinner and lecture held last spring. “I was very surprised,” Bach says. “There are so many wonderful professors here; to be chosen is an honor.”
UAB presents the award annually to a full-time faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences for professional and academic achievements and contributions to the university and local community. The prize, made possible by the Caroline P. and Charles W. Ireland Endowment for Scholarly Distinction, comes with $5,000 cash and a Steuben crystal engraved award. Awardees have gained national and/or international recognition from their peers and demonstrate talents that contribute to the elevation of the arts and sciences at UAB and in the Birmingham community.
“Dr. Bach offers a picture of the ideal scholar/teacher,” says her colleague Alison Chapman, Ph.D. “She is a deeply engaged writer and thinker, and this commitment to her research animates her teaching.”
Bach’s inventive teaching methods and topics have resonated with students. She has received numerous letters and e-mails from those who say she opened up new ways of thinking and learning for them.