Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Nancy Lyman Roelker

Nancy Lyman Roelker (1915–1993) 

Nancy Lyman Roelker was born on June 15, 1915, in Warwick, Rhode Island, to William Greene Roelker, a historian, and Anna (Koues) Roelker. She received an A.B. from Radcliffe College in 1936, an A.M. from Harvard University in 1937, and a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1953. She taught European history from 1937 to 1941 at Concord Academy in Concord, Massachusetts, and from 1941 to 1963 at Winsor School in Boston, Massachusetts. She was assistant professor at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, from 1963 to 1965, associate professor from 1965 to 1969, and professor from 1969 to 1971. She then became professor of European history at Boston University. Roelker retired in 1980. In 1960 and 1970 she received research grants from the American Philosophical Society, and in 1965–66 she was a Guggenheim fellow. She received the Distinguished Achievement Medal from the Radcliffe Graduate Society in 1970. In 1985 she was awarded the Gold Medal of Paris for contributions to that city’s history.

Roelker translated and edited The Paris of Henry of Navarre by Pierre de L’Estoile in 1958, was contributing editor and translator of In Search of France in 1963, and was editor and translator of Jean-Batiste Duroselle, From Wilson to Roosevelt: American Foreign Policy, 1913–1945 , that same year. In 1965 she was editor of Raymond Aron’s The Great Debate: Theories of Nuclear Strategy , and in 1968 she wrote Queen of Navarre: Jeanne d’Albret, 1529–1572 . She returned to editing and translating with Correspondence of Jeanne d’Albret, 1541–1572 , and her last book, One King, One Faith: The Parliament of Paris and the Reformations of the Sixteenth Century , was scheduled for publication when she died in December 1993; it was placed on the University of California Press’s centennial roster of the 100 most distinguished books published by the press since 1895.

The Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award was established to honor teachers of history who taught, guided, and inspired their students in a way that changed their lives. Mentoring is as important to the discipline of history as fine scholarship and good teaching. The ideal mentor is forthright, supportive, and constructively critical, committed to the student as a person, regardless of age or career goals.
While it is difficult to formulate a precise definition of this multifaceted process, there are some essential elements:
belief in the value of the study of history and commitment to and love of teaching it to students regardless of age or career goals
consistent personal commitment by the mentor to the student as a person
honesty and integrity of the mentor
mentor's contribution to the process of mentoring as a one-to-one partnership in learning that is comfortable to both, that is likely to endure and develop beyond the initial context as each learns from, gives to, and shares with the other, enriching both professional and personal lives

The Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award is given on a three-year cycle: graduate mentors (including combined graduate and undergraduate teaching); secondary school teachers, and undergraduate mentors (both two-and four-year colleges). The 2017 award is for undergraduate mentors.


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