Professor Sheila Dickison, Associate Director of Academic Programs at the Bob Graham Center for Public Service, was one of the three Meritae Award Recipients honored this year by the American Classical League. Sheila was awarded this important distinction for her “Distinguished Service to ACL and to the Classics Profession”. Warmest congratulations, Sheila!
Citation full text:
This Merita honoree’s places of residence have ranged from Canada in the far north to Florida in the deep south, but her influence and renown have spread throughout the world of classical studies.
After receiving her bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto, and the M.A. and Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College, she spent two years at the American Academy in Rome and taught for seven years at Wellesley College before heading south to the sunny climes of Florida, where since 1976 she has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Latin, Greek and classical civilization at the University of Florida.
As a Professor Emerita, she is known and respected throughout the country, but to Florida’s teachers of Latin and Greek “Doctor D” is a legend. She served as Vice-President of the Classical Association of Florida and was honored by that organization in 1987 as Latin Teacher of the Year, an honor generally reserved for high school teachers.
In addition to her role as a classicist at the University of Florida, she has served as Director of the University Honors Program; Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Associate Provost; and currently Associate Director for Academic Programs at the Bob Graham Center for Public Service. Her university has rightly honored her with numerous awards and citations.
Her teaching and research are focused on ancient social history, historiography, Latin prose, and pedagogy. She has given numerous presentations to classical and other organizations. She has authored four text books, as well as articles and reviews too many to mention.
This honoree has served the classics profession at the regional and national levels in the following capacities: Secretary-Treasurer of the Classical Society of the American Academy in Rome; Co-Chair of the APA (SCS) Women’s Classical Caucus; and President of CAMWS-Southern Section.
High school students and teachers of Advanced Placement Latin programs have profited greatly from her expertise and service. She led a productive series of two-week summer workshops for AP teachers in Florida. She served as a member and as Chair of the AP Latin Development Committee. As Chief Reader for four years, she supervised and reported on the scoring of the exams.
Our honoree has served The American Classical League for many years. She has been a perennial consultant for the National Latin Exam. She has attended and given presentations at numerous ACL Institutes. She served as a member of the National Committee on Latin Guidelines. As a two-term ACL Vice-President, she oversaw the programs of our summer institutes. During her four-year term as ACL President, she undertook a number of important initiatives, including the committee for Latin in the Middle Schools, the Latin Teach list, the online format of the Teacher Placement Service, an assertive outreach to ACTFL and other kindred organizations, and a major upgrade of our website and internet services.
Her nominator aptly describes her as follows: “Sheila’s optimism, enthusiasm and what a friend has called her ‘zany energy’ not only endear her to those with whom she works and plays, but also make working and playing with her such a joy. She cuts to the chase, focusing on what most needs to be done, and inspiring those with whom she collaborates to do their very best!”
It was during her term as President of The American Classical League that this Meritus/Merita Award was established in order to recognize outstanding professional and organizational service. It is therefore most fitting that we honor as part of our centennial celebration this exemplary teacher, scholar, administrator and promoter of the classics.
Plaudite, vos quaeso,
Sheila K. Dickison.