July 2, 2020

Professor Emerita status granted to GPEP founder


  • Barbara Roswell

Goucher College has granted Barbara Roswell the honor of professor emerita. Members of the Faculty Affairs Committee nominated Roswell in mid-June, and the Board of Trustees swiftly confirmed her position on June 19. “Emerita status is one of the greatest honors that Goucher College confers, in order to show respect for a truly distinguished career,” says Provost Elaine Meyer-Lee. “It was a great pleasure for me to be able to act quickly on the strong recommendation of our faculty to award this status to our most esteemed colleague Barbara Roswell.” 

Roswell is semi-retired and teaches in the Goucher Prison Education Partnership (GPEP), which she helped found. Formerly an assistant professor of English, she has had a profound effect on Goucher since she joined the college in 1983. Roswell both teaches writing and writes about teaching; her intertwined passion for the two subjects has led her to prolific scholarship in multiple books and countless essays.

In 2004, Roswell and several colleagues started a writing workshop at the Maryland Correctional Institute for Women, which evolved into a curriculum of college classes. Eventually, Roswell secured a grant to create GPEP, and she became its first director. Today, GPEP has grown large enough that more than 100 students at the men’s and women’s prisons in Jessup can fully enroll in Goucher College as American studies majors. She has also led a writing workshop at the Baltimore County Detention Center for a decade and works with a national organization to train educators to teach in prison.

GPEP is but one of the many projects Roswell led at Goucher. Over the years, she directed the First Year Seminar Program, the Writing Center, the Writing Program, and Writing Across the Curriculum, now called the Writing Enriched Curriculum, which is designed to help students be more intentional in their writing.

As the Faculty Affairs Committee wrote to Meyer-Lee after Roswell’s nomination, “With her leadership, guidance, commitment to her field, to this college, and to the very important and significant programs she was involved in, GPEP as one example, she is beyond deserving. She is and has been a gentle force for all, particularly her students.”

Members of the Board of Trustees presented the resolution to Roswell, respecting distancing guidelines, at her home June 27.