First woman department chair

In 1990, Dr. Elizabeth Cummins was named chair of Missouri S&T’s English department. She joined S&T as an instructor in 1967 after teaching five years at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

She taught classes on literature, science fiction and technical writing. Beyond her teaching and scholarly accomplishments, including three Faculty Excellence Awards, Cummins was one of the driving forces in the university’s establishment of a writing center and she co-directed, with Dr. Catherine Riordan, an award-winning “Women at Work” series.

Cummins was the first recipient of the university’s Woman of the Year Award in 1997 and in 2017, the Dr. Elizabeth Cummins Women’s Advocate Award was established. It goes to an S&T employee, regardless of gender or job title, who demonstrates commitment to women on campus through mentorship and advocacy.

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