Congratulations to the 2023 Teaching Award Recipients

Teaching Excellence: Innovation in Teaching

Dr. Elizabeth Bridgham and Dr. Robert Stretter, Associate Professors of English

Elizabeth Bridgham, Ph.D. and Robert Stretter, Ph.D., associate professors of English, are the recipients of the 2023 Innovation in Teaching Excellence Award. The annual award honors faculty members who have implemented innovative teaching approaches that increase student learning and success. The Center for Teaching Excellence’s (CTE) Advisory Group administers the award.  

Bridgham, an expert in Victorian literature and culture who has taught courses in English, the Development of Western Civilization (DWC) Program, Honors DWC, and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, has been a member of the PC faculty since 2004. Her research interests place nineteenth-century texts in the context of contemporary topics and debates. She is the author of Spaces of the Sacred and Profane: Dickens, Trollope, and the Victorian Cathedral Town. Currently, Bridgham is working on a research project that examines bad marriage proposals in Victorian fiction through a feminist lens and is writing an article on the modern concern of “cancel culture” and Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities.  

Stretter has been a member of the PC faculty since 2008. He has taught English courses on Medieval and Renaissance literature and culture, literary theory, and writing, in addition to teaching regularly in DWC and the Honors Program. His scholarly interests focus on intersections between the literary history idealized friendship and issues of gender, sexuality, and ethics. Stretter has published articles in top academic journals and is currently at work on a book entitled Other Selves: Idealized Friendship from Chaucer to Shakespeare.   

Drs Bridgham and Stretter with students at PC's Civ in London program

This past spring, Bridgham and Stretter served as faculty directors of PC’s “Civ in London” program, which offers a select number of students the opportunity to complete their DWC experience in London. During this four-month study-abroad adventure, Bridgham and Stretter brought to life the idea of “the city as a classroom” — encouraging students to center the ways in which the spaces they inhabit not only frame but also shape their learning. Building on this experience, they intend to offer a new DWC colloquium in the next academic year entitled “The Global City.”  

Congratulations to Drs. Bridgham and Stretter on earning this honor.  

Teaching Excellence: Visiting and Practitioner Faculty

Dr. Paul Melley
Visiting Assistant Professor of Theology

Dr. Paul Melley, visiting assistant professor of Theology

Paul Melley, Ph.D., a visiting assistant professor of theology at PC, is the recipient of the 2023 Teaching Excellence by a Visiting Faculty Award. Melley is a Catholic theologian whose research examines the intersection of sacramentality, ritual, liturgy, and music; mystagogy; secularism; and religious education. His courses include sections of Foundations: Faith, Life, and Tradition, The Sacraments, and DWC. 

He is a published composer and has compositions in five hymnals internationally. Dr. Melley spent more than a decade as director of liturgical music and assistant chaplain at the College of the Holy Cross and has several years of experience in parish and liturgical music ministry. He is currently researching origins of mystagogy as praxis of sacramental imagination and how including the category of “experience” serves to contribute to theology.  
Dr. Melley received a master’s degree in pastoral ministry with a concentration in liturgy and sacraments from Boston College, studied theological Spanish at Harvard University, and received his Ph.D. from Boston College.   

Congratulations to Dr. Melley on this award!