Lisa DiBartolomeo, Ph.D., has been named the Armand E. and Mary W. Singer Professor in the Humanities for her dedication and commitment to the study of Russian and other Slavic languages, literatures and cultures at West Virginia University.

“I am excited to be included in the proud tradition of wonderful teachers like Armand Singer who see the value of a humanities education for everyone, regardless of major or future career plans,” DiBartolomeo said. “Students need a solid understanding in the values, critical thinking skills and modes of expression imparted by courses in the humanities, and I work hard to help them see the value-added nature of such coursework.”

Armand and Mary Singer were a team devoted to scholarship in the humanities. In 2000, Mary and Armand, together with their daughter and son-in-law, Fredericka Ann Singer Hill and Thomas Hill, responded to WVU’s Building Greatness Campaign by establishing the Armand E. and Mary W. Singer Professorship in the Humanities, which is intended for faculty members in the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Linguistics.

“My husband and I feel that the continued support of this very important professorship is the best way to honor my parents Armand and Mary Singer, who devoted their lives to higher education at WVU,” Fredericka Ann Singer Hill said.

DiBartolomeo began teaching at WVU in 2005. Currently she is the coordinator of both the Russian Studies and the Slavic and Eastern European Studies programs at WVU. Her teaching and research cover a large range of topics, including Russian language and literature, Polish cinema, science fiction, Holocaust literature and film, folklore and fairy tales and vampire literature and film. Most of her work embraces an interdisciplinary approach, using different media and tools.

“I knew Armand, both when I was an undergrad here and later when I joined the faculty. He was a delightful person, always with a witty comment and an eager mind,” DiBartolomeo said. “I have a few of his limerick collections, and I periodically look at them and laugh to myself. He once came to a talk I gave for Phi Beta Kappa, and he surprised me with his knowledge of the cyberpunk genre; his mind was always working, always looking for new texts and new experiences. Armand was a perfect example of what we all strive to be: lifelong learners.”

Dr. Di, as she is affectionately known by her students, advises the WVU Russian Club and runs the department’s annual Spring Spectacular performance. She leads several study abroad trips including annual spring break trips rotating between the Czech Republic and Poland and biannual trips to Romania for the Vlad the Impaler tour.

DiBartolomeo received her bachelor’s in Slavic studies and Russian from WVU in 1991, her master’s in Slavonic literature from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, in 1993, and her doctorate in Slavic languages and literatures from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Currently, she is Faculty Senate chair-elect and will serve as Faculty Senate chair in 2013-2014.

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