Whether it's having students act out the consultation of the oracle at Delphi in a mythology class, creating a chessboard out of random items to discuss Ferdinand de Saussure's idea's about linguistic structure in a theory class, or having students propose plans for new scholarly publications, Brantley Bryant tries to let no class go by without some memorable moment.
Bryant, an associate professor of English, recently received an Excellence in Education Award from the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce at an Aug. 14 ceremony honoring exemplary educators.
Bryant has earned exceedingly high student evaluation scores, stunningly positive qualitative student feedback, and his colleagues find him an exemplary scholar-educator with exceptional talent and knowledge.
"Studying literature is good for you," says Bryant. Happily for his students, it is also quite fun. In the classroom, Bryant celebrates what he calls "the unique weirdness of the University" by employing games, group work, and creative projects to engage his students.
While functioning as a superior teacher and an active scholar, Bryant has been engaged at every level of service. At the department level, he has been an advisor to the English Student's Association, chair of the Assessment Committee, and chair of the Events and Lectures Committee.
His service at the University level includes chairing the Academic Freedom Subcommittee (three years) and stepping up for a semester-leave replacement on the influential Educational Policies Committee. He graciously accepts invitations to guest lecture in colleagues' classes.
In the community, Bryant focuses his time and energy on collaborations with Sonoma County libraries. He prepares original talks specifically for library audiences which are open to the public. The Spring 2013 lecture on "The Real Medieval Game of Thrones," was presented at the Petaluma, Windsor and Healdsburg libraries.
In Spring 2011 his lecture on "Time Travel with Geoffrey Chaucer, 1390-2011" was given at the Guerneville, Rohnert Park, Healdsburg and Sonoma Valley libraries. In 2009 he spoke on "The Tragic History of Richard II, King of England."
Bryant joined the SSU faculty in 2007 after completing his Ph.D. in English at Columbia University, specializing in medieval British literature.