Farewell, Sarah Campbell

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A Tribute to Sarah Campbell on the Occasion of Her Retirement from Boston University

By Joe Bizup, Director of the Writing Program

Sarah’s career at Boston University began in 1997, with an appointment as an instructor in the Department of English. From 2000-2005 she served as Head of the Writing Program in the School of Management. And from 2005 to the present, she has been a lecturer in the CAS Writing Program.

Prior to coming to BU, Sarah taught at the Catholic University of America, where she earned her PhD in English in 2005, and also at the University of Michigan. A medievalist by training, Sarah has taught courses on topics ranging from Children’s Literature, to rhetorical theory, to the Arthurian cycle. She has delivered many papers and presentations in literature and rhetoric, and is the author of the textbook Introducing Grammar Guides: One Word at a Time, published in 2006.

But this sterile rehearsal of her CV does not do justice to the contributions Sarah has made as a scholar, colleague, and—most of all—teacher. For that, I turn to her students—albeit not all 1972 of them—for it is they who can testify most directly and powerfully to the true difference she has made in their educations and lives. Her evaluations are a refrain of adjectives: “knowledgeable, interesting, enthusiastic, kind, helpful, funny, passionate, . . . compassionate.”

But some students say a bit more:

Professor Campbell is my favorite professor. The most help I have ever had with my writing was when she made me attend a mandatory meeting to go over my last paper.

Good first teacher that actually took the time and actually teach me grammar.

I really thought Professor Campbell knew what she was talking about.

Great course, great teacher. I learned a lot that will be useful for years to come.

Great professor. This class was the only class I didn’t dread attending.

Professor Campbell is very passionate about her rhetoric.

I honestly have never learned so much about writing in such a short time. Professor Campbell helped me develop a sophisticated writing style that works for me.

I actually looked forward to coming to class. Even though grammar is the most boring thing in the world, her sense of humor made it surprisingly fun. Great class.

I learned a lot from this course. It was different from any class I’ve ever had as far as English and writing go.

I am usually shy to raise my hand, but she made it seem easy to become a part of the conversation.

Professor Campbell is so funny, so compassionate, so helpful. One of BU’s best professors.

She is very enthusiastic, a good explainer, and unlike other teachers who suffocate you with their rules, she allows us to breathe in this class. I loved her as a teacher!

Professor Campbell is without a doubt the best teacher I have ever had. I owe to her the joy of writing.

Professor Campbell really cares about her students, and she is always helpful during office hours. She has a hilarious personality, and she also has her own unique understanding of the Arthurian court. I’m really glad I took this course. I learned a lot from her.

And finally, this student captures a sentiment I think all of us share:

Thank you for this semester. We’ll miss you.

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