Barry McNamara  |  Published June 27, 2023

Hatch Award Recipients

Mamary, Simmons receive Monmouth College’s prestigious honors for scholarship, service.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – Two of Monmouth College’s leading faculty members were recently recognized for their work to promote scholarship, both in their own work and among students.

Philosophy professor Anne Mamary received the Hatch Award for Excellence in Scholarship/Creative Work, while the Hatch Award for Excellence in Service went to classics professor Bob Simmons.


‘A consistently productive scholar’

The Hatch scholarship committee called Mamary “a consistently productive faculty scholar,” citing the many journal articles she’s written and edited, most notably The Alchemical Harry Potter: Essays on Transfiguration in J.K. Rowling’s Novels, a 323-page work edited by Mamary that was published in 2021.

ANNE MAMARY: The Hatch Award committee praised her as an extremely committed teacher, edito... ANNE MAMARY: The Hatch Award committee praised her as "an extremely committed teacher, editor and writer who exemplifies scholarship on a daily basis."Mamary was also praised for her significant role in helping others to further their scholarship development through her work as faculty adviser for the College’s Midwest Journal of Undergraduate Research.

Since 2013, Mamary has coordinated and edited the publication, which gives undergraduates from around the world opportunities to be published scholars in a selective cross-disciplinary journal.

The committee also noted Mamary’s teaching “is entwined with her scholarship.”

Her scholarly contributions to her Harry Potter book are a direct extension of her very popular, highly creative “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Soul” class she teaches regularly. Other articles she’s authored tie directly to her courses, such as such as “Plato and Aristophanes: Poets of Hope” and “How Do You Know His Name is Gabriel? Finding Communion with the Singular Lives of Creatures.”

“Anne Mamary is an extremely committed teacher, editor and writer who exemplifies scholarship on a daily basis,” wrote the committee. “We are pleased to honor the contributions she makes to the intellectual and scholarly vibrance of our College community.”


Service that enriches education

“First and foremost, Bob Simmons is a teacher, yet he has provided substantial service outside of the classroom to enrich student education,” wrote the Hatch service committee.

BOB SIMMONS: First and foremost, (he) is a teacher, yet he has provided substantial service outs... BOB SIMMONS: “First and foremost, (he) is a teacher, yet he has provided substantial service outside of the classroom to enrich student education," wrote the Hatch Award committee.“I strive to meet the evolving needs of our student body, to work around the talents and interests of my colleagues and to make courses that fit the zeitgeist,” said Simmons, who has taught 48 different classes in his nine years at Monmouth. “And, like virtually all our faculty members, I am committed to service for the betterment of the College. What perhaps distinguishes my service is that I am particularly dedicated, in a rather entrepreneurial way, to activities that enrich students’ experiences beyond the classroom.”

Simmons endeavors to give students numerous opportunities, outside of the classroom, to learn actively, and to be meaningfully involved in impactful events, with abundant opportunities for leadership. It’s also important to him that his students make important contributions to the operation of the classics department and that they have exposure to the perspectives of scholars from around the country. To the latter point, he annually brings several speakers to campus, including for the annual Fox Classics Lecture and Sienkewicz Archaeology Lecture.

Chief among the active learning opportunities Simmons provides is Classics Day, which he has organized five times since arriving on campus. The committee praised that “Herculean” task, which brings faculty and students from secondary schools and colleges to campus. The event also provides a wealth of opportunities for students to step into leadership roles in the planning and execution of the event.

Additionally, wrote the committee, “a good number of students have chosen Monmouth College because of their experiences at Classics Day.”

Last spring, thanks to Simmons’ leadership, Monmouth hosted the annual meeting of Eta Sigma Phi, the national undergraduate honors society. Much like Classics Day, students were called upon to play major roles in putting the successful event together.

Earlier this year, “Bob published Demagogues, Power, and Friendship in Classical Athens, and he won the award for excellence in college teaching from the Classical Association of the Middle West and South,” wrote the committee. “We are pleased and honored to round out the trio with this year’s Hatch Award for Service.”

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