Annual Award by Alumnus Honors Excellence in SAGES Instruction

Gabrielle (Brie) Parkin, a lecturer in the Department of English and interim director of the Writing Resource Center, received this year’s Richard A. Bloom, M.D. Award for Distinguished Teaching in the SAGES Program. The award was established in 2008 by alumnus Richard Bloom (WRC ’74, MED ’79).

English instructor sits on floor surrounded by students who are standing

SAGES Instructor Gabrielle Parkin sits front and center, surrounded by students.

Parkin was nominated by four of her students, one of whom praised her as “the most engaging professor I have ever had.” 

Another said, “She put a great deal of time into, not only her class, but also her students. We are people. We have lives and feelings and thoughts and Professor Parkin used those to enhance this class and make learning possible.”

A scholar of late medical literature and material culture, Parkin taught a SAGES seminar titled Medieval Robots last spring. Taking their inspiration from 14th-century texts, students in the course created imaginative worlds using the video game Minecraft.  

SAGES (the Seminar Approach to General Education and Scholarship) provides Case Western Reserve undergraduates with a foundation in critical thinking, written and oral communication, the use of information, quantitative reasoning and engagement with ethical issues and diversity. It exposes students to experimental and theoretical approaches to understanding human culture and behavior, scientific knowledge, and methods of research.