English at the University of Illinois Springfield, has been named University Scholar for 2012. She was the only UIS faculty member chosen for this award honoring and rewarding outstanding teachers and scholars at the three U of I campuses.
“She is a model teacher-scholar and a rising star in American literary studies,” said Lynn Pardie, UIS provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs. “She works across sociohistorical and cultural contexts, analyzes important themes and issues in literary and visual texts to increase understanding of race, ethnicity, and gender issues in Asian and Asian American literature.”
Dong has been an extraordinarily productive scholar since joining the faculty at UIS, publishing a major monograph, an edited collection of essays, and multiple journal articles and book chapters, as well as delivering numerous scholarly presentations at conferences in her field. She has been called “the world authority on the iterations of Mulan,” and her recent monograph, Mulan’s Legend and Legacy in China and the United States, has received very high praise.
She teaches a wide array of courses within her areas of expertise and at every level of the undergraduate curriculum – much to the delight of her students, both online and on campus. Despite the intellectually challenging nature of her courses, she is highly regarded as a passionate and talented teacher by her students as well as by her colleagues. Her courses are carefully designed and constructed to foster an appreciation for diverse cultures; to strengthen critical reading, analysis, and writing skills; to promote a sense of social responsibility; and to encourage collaboration and creativity.
“True to the model of an ideal teacher-scholar, whereby the integrity of teaching and research are preserved as separate but mutually influential and enriching endeavors, Dong has also contributed to the scholarship of teaching within her field, presenting and publishing on the teaching of graphic novels,” said Pardie.
Dong holds a B.A. in Chinese Literature from Beijing University, an M.A. in Comparative Literature from Dartmouth College, and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
As University Scholar, she will receive $10,000 a year for three years to support research and other scholarly activities. Faculty do not apply for this award; they are nominated by their peers. A committee of senior faculty makes the final selection.