Blair recognized with President's Award for academic integration

University Park, Pa. -- William A. Blair, research professor of American history in the College of the Liberal Arts, has been awarded the 2011 President's Award for Excellence in Academic Integration.

The award is given to a full-time faculty member who has exhibited extraordinary achievement in the integration of teaching, research or creative accomplishment, and service.

A renowned scholar of the Civil War and the Civil War era, Blair has served since 1998 as director of the Richards Civil War Era Center at Penn State, leading it to the forefront of Civil War studies in the country.

Among the initiatives that have made the Center a leader in the field are the biennial Society for Civil War Historians conferences, the Brose Lecture Series, which Blair edits for the University of North Carolina Press, an annual student conference that recruits participants from schools around the nation, and various educational tours for alumnae. A Summer Institute for Public School Teachers has been held annually by the Center since 2000.

In the classroom, Blair consistently receives high marks from both undergraduate and graduate students. They cite his "passion" for the subject and "the great job he does in fostering discussion." Students attest that he makes the material interesting even to those who aren't history buffs. "The class was much better than any history class I have taken," one student said.

Author of two books on the Civil War, he currently is at work on a third, With Malice toward Some, a study of the use of treason during the Civil War era. He served for 10 years as editor of Civil War History and currently is editor of the recently launched title The Journal of the Civil War Era, which focuses on the war and its impact on American history.

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Last Updated March 16, 2011