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Dr. Palmer Receives CAS Outstanding Faculty Award for Research/Scholarship

May 10, 2009

Dr. Scott W. Palmer, Associate Professor of History, was chosen by WIU's College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) as this year's winner of the CAS Outstanding Faculty Award for Research/Scholarship, Dean Inessa Levi announced. Dr. Palmer was honored for his accomplishments in the realm of research and scholarship, along with other award winners, including Assistant Professor of History, Dr. Jennifer McNabb, who is this year's CAS Outstanding Faculty Award winner for Teaching (see related article in blue box) at the Annual CAS Awards Reception on Friday, May 8 at 4 p.m. in the University Union's LaMoine Room.

During the period under consideration for this award (August 2005 through July 2008), Dr. Palmer held major fellowships from two of our nation's most prestigious institutions (the U.S. Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities). He published his first monograph with Cambridge University Press and became the first Russian historian to publish a digital "e-book." He also authored three peer-reviewed articles in the leading journals of three separate subfields and delivered several conference presentations, gave two invited talks, and authored a series of book reviews.

Dr. Palmer's most significant scholarly contribution during the period under review was the publication of his first book, Dictatorship of the Air: Aviation Culture and the Fate of Modern Russia (Cambridge University Press, 2006). The monograph draws on previously unpublished archival, documentary, and visual sources to challenge current scholarship in Russian history and the history of technology. Dictatorship of the Air has sold out the first hardback printing and is well through the second. A paperback edition will appear later this spring. Significantly, Dr. Palmer's book was chosen for inclusion in the American Council of Learned Societies' "Humanities E-Book Project."

Dr. Palmer has held two prestigious fellowships during the period under consideration for the CAS award. During the summer and early fall of 2005, Palmer was a resident fellow at the John W. Kluge Center of the U.S. Library of Congress. During the 2007-2008 academic year, he conducted research and writing in support of his current project under the auspices of a Fellowship for College Teachers from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Dr. Palmer's scholarly engagement has benefited the department's undergraduate and graduate curricula. Throughout his tenure at WIU, Dr. Palmer has used his scholarship to inform his teaching. He has designed several new courses directly related to his research interests to include graduate readings seminars on the history of technology and modern architecture, the subjects of his current research. He has also developed an upper-division lecture course related to his expertise in the history of aviation. First offered in spring 2007 and offered again in Fall 2009, History 424: "History of Flight Culture" blends scholarly research with an impressive array of on-line and new media resources. The result is a unique opportunity for WIU students to gain a strong appreciation for the twentieth century's most important technology.

In addition to his scholarly activity and teaching, Dr. Palmer currently serves as chair of the History Department's Library Committee, represents the Department on the College Faculty Council, and represents the humanities departments on the College Curriculum Committee.

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