Ludlow named 2015-2016 laureate


Jason Howell

Women’s studies coordinator and 2015-2016 faculty laurete Jeannie Ludlow delivers a speech to new students during convocation on Aug. 21 in Lantz Arena. Ludlow told students to claim power, claim knowledge and to claim their education.

Cassie Buchman, Administration Editor

As the Faculty Laureate, English professor and coordinator of the Women’s Studies program Jeannie Ludlow feels very strongly on the importance of imparting knowledge onto students.

Ludlow was chosen to be Eastern’s 2015-16 Faculty Laureate by the Council of Academic Affairs.

As faculty laureate, she will be asked to represent the university at events and will help choose next year’s faculty lareatue.

“I wrote about how students can be empowered by knowing more about the world and learning and knowing how things work,” she said. “I teach about it in my classes.”

Ludlow said all courses have learning objectives, where educators are supposed to aim for teaching students job skills like reading and writing instead of knowledge.

Ludlow said that while learning these skills is important for students to gain knowledge as well.

“You can’t prove knowledge,” Ludlow said. “Four students can sit in the same class and learn different pieces of knowledge.”

Ludlow said her opinionated personality has always been present in her life.

“My dad says I was born this way,” she said. “He claims that I organized a protest in the first grade.”

Although Ludlow does not remember this protest, she says her dad would not lie.

Growing up in a small town, Ludlow was not always as exposed to the world as she is now.

She was raised in a small, rural town and went to college in Danville, Ludlow said she was not able to see what represented inequality and why it should be fixed until enrolling in higher education.

“We had quite a few Iranian international students,” she said. “On the first day, my calculus professor came in and told us how great he was, then pointed to a group of Iranian students, and said ‘In this country, we read left to right.’ I was sure he was trying to humiliate them in front of the class.”

It was the first time she really saw that racism and xenophobia somewhere that was not on TV.

“Students here are different,” she said. “One of the things that really impressed me is how hard Eastern students work.”

Ludlow said at other schools, students did not always struggle as much in their lives as Eastern students did.

Many times, they would try to get a higher grade by asking her instead of working on it. Students would even follow her into the bathroom trying to argue about their grades with her.

“Students here do not have that same sense of entitlement,” she said. “That’s why I feel honor-bound to speak up on their behalf.”

While she does not want students to feel entitled in a negative way, Ludlow said she wants them to feel entitled to claiming their education, to having their ideas taken seriously and to be respected as scholars.

Ludlow’s drive and dedication to her students is where the title of her speech, “Claim Your Education,” came into place for the freshmen and transfer student convocation.

“I chose this title because claim does have this sense of entitlement to it,” she said. “This is what I hope for students. I hope students will claim the knowledge they need.”

She saw this claim in one student who came to her office to get help with a paper.

“I told her this is a good solid B paper, and she asked me what to do to get an A,” Ludlow said. “She was saying she has a claim to that A.”

Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]