McGann receives Fulbright grant
Assistant Professor of English Mary McGann recently received the Senior Lecturer Award from the Fulbright Scholar Program, which will allow her to teach in Poland next year. McGann will retire from the University of Indianapolis at the end of this semester after 22 years of service to the school.
During the extensive application process, McGann had a definite interest in Poland.
“I focused mainly on the former Eastern Block countries because I’ve lived in Poland before,” McGann said. “I’ve taught in Hungary as well as Poland.”
McGann spent time teaching in Warsaw at the American Studies Center as a Fulbright Lecturer from 1981 to 1983. During her time in Warsaw, she and her late husband taught at the center and witnessed political upheavals under the communist regime’s declaration of martial law.
“It was incredible to witness,” McGann said. “There were tanks in the street. I believe it was the beginning of the fall of communism.”
Since her departure, Poland has drastically changed. While she thinks there may be a culture shock awaiting her, McGann is excited by the prospect of returning.
“It will be hard without my husband,” McGann said. “I’m doing it in a way for him as well as for me. I think he’d be very proud.”
During her time in Warsaw, McGann will continue to teach American Literature in the same way as she did at UIndy.
“I don’t stand and lecture,” McGann said. “That’s the easiest way for students to get bored. I use a variety of strategies in any given class.”
McGann is excited to reconnect with old friends and rediscover the city.
William Dynes, chair of the English department, described McGann as a personable professor.
“She’s a passionate teacher who connects with her students in both their academics and their lives,” Dynes said. “She’s very committed to them.”
The grant will serve as a capstone to a career centered upon education.
“It says quite a lot about her qualities as a teacher and a scholar,” he said. “While we are excited for her, Dr. McGann will be missed. It’s bittersweet.”