Gabrielle Foreman Honored With Sterling Award

Occidental College Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies Gabrielle Foreman was presented with the Graham L. Sterling Memorial Award, the College's most prestigious faculty honor, at an Oct. 27 reception.


Newly-tenured and promoted faculty were also recognized at the event.

Established in 1972 in memory of former trustee Graham Sterling, Occidental bestows the Sterling Award each year to a professor with a distinguished record of teaching, service, and professional achievement. College Dean Eric Frank presented the award -- an engraved silver platter --- as well as a check for $1,000 to Foreman. In addition, the College deposited another $1,000 into her department's account.

Foreman has taught at Occidental since 1994; her courses focus on 19th century American literature, African-American literature, and issues in critical race and legal theory. She received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Amherst. She is a prolific writer and editor, publishing dozens of essays, book chapters and reviews in critical anthologies and leading academic journals such as the Yale Journal of Criticism.

Foreman's latest book is Activist Sentiments: Reading Black Women in the Nineteenth Century and is now working on a project titled, Disruptive Narratives: Harriet Wilson and the Politics of Place, Race and Religion. Frank also noted Foreman's community service, mentioning her turn as a Kellogg National Leadership Fellow for her work with youth.

"As if this all wasn't impressive enough, Gabrielle is also a supremely dedicated and very successful teacher," Frank said. "Her students consistently praise her as a superb mentor: kind, flexible, humorous, approachable and helpful but whose classes are rigorous, intellectually challenging and framed by the highest academic standards."

Frank also recognized professors who received tenure or who were promoted to full professor. The College promoted associate professors Regina Freer and Andrea Hopmeyer Gorman to full professor. Freer received her Ph.D from the University of Michigan. Her teaching areas include American politics and public policy, race and American politics and Los Angeles history and culture. She is also a co-author of The Next Los Angeles: The Struggle for a Livable City.

Gorman matriculated with a Ph.D from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Her courses include developmental psychology and her research focuses on children and adolescent social and emotional development. Her honors include a $10,000 Haynes Faculty Fellowship for a project on community violence and children's social and academic adjustment in school.

Sharla Fett and Gabrielle ForemanOccidental also promoted to associate professor with tenure Sharla Fett (history) and Caroline Heldman (politics). Fett received her Ph.D from Rutgers University. She specializes in African American history and the histories of race, medicine, and enslavement in the antebellum United States. Her latest book is the prize-winning Working Cures: Healing, Health, and Power on Southern Slave Plantations.

Heldman also received her Ph.D from Rutgers. Her courses include American politics and policy, the American presidency, and gender and politics. She is the co-author of Rethinking Madame President: Are We Ready for a Woman in the White House? and is a frequent guest commentator on national television.

The College's board of trustees confirmed the promotions earlier this year.