Amy Sage Webb named 2012 Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professor

April 10, 2012

Assistant Professor Amy Sage Webb and Emporia State University President Michael D. Shonrock react to a student’s comment after Shonrock announced that Webb had received the 2012 Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professor Award. The announcement was made Tuesday, April 10, 2012, during Webb’s advance fiction writing class at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kan. (Photo by James R. Garvey/Emporia State University)

“I’m so glad we’re not having food in here today,” said Assistant Professor Amy Sage Webb to the students as a delegation of Emporia State administrators entered her advanced fiction writing class.

The food will come later this semester during a reception. Today, however, was all about surprising Webb with the 2012 Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professor Award, an event that brought tears and plenty of hugs.

“This was not how I thought this day was going to go,” Webb said after the announcement from Emporia State President Michael D. Shonrock.

“Amy Sage Webb has been described as an ‘inspiring, a masterful teacher and life coach, a role model, mentor, and a wonder woman’ — that’s the one I like best,” Shonrock told the class of about a dozen.

Webb’s students went on to describe her as “awesome, great and fantastic.”

The Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professor Award has been given since 1979 to the ESU professor who best demonstrates teaching excellence, professional activities, fostering of intellectual atmosphere, service to the university outside the classroom and status as a student mentor. The award includes $1,000 to be used for professional activities.


During her 17-year tenure at Emporia State, Webb — who becomes a full professor in August — has taught 25 different courses in creative writing, literature, pedagogy and the honors program. She has published 11 creative publications; eight book chapters, pedagogical essays or papers; 12 performances of scholarly work and 69 presentations at professional conferences.

Her short story collection, “Save Your Own life: Kansas Stories,” was recently accepted for publication by Topeka’s Woodley Press.

At Emporia State, Webb has served as president of Faculty Senate as well as on 70 department, college or university committees. She earned the Ruth Schillinger Faculty Award for outstanding service to women in 2011, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Award for Excellence in Service in 2008 and Excellence in Teaching in 2007.

Also in 2007, Webb was a nominee for the Pushcart Prize for fiction and poetry.

A member of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, Modern Language Association and the Phi Kappa Phi national honorary society, Webb also is faculty advisor to BUILD, a beauty student organization, and Phi Mu sorority as well as a mentor to the Emporia State men’s and women’s tennis teams.

Webb earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in magazines from Ohio University; a master’s degree in English literature and creative writing from Kansas State University and a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Arizona State University.

She will be honored at a university reception later this month, be listed in the spring commencement program, be the speaker at the December commencement and lead the academic procession at the commencements in December 2012 and May 2013.



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