Distinguished Service Award Citation
Ruth Scodel will retire at the end of June 2019 as the D. R. Shackleton Bailey Collegiate Professor of Greek and Latin at the University of Michigan. Her scholarship focuses on Homer, Hesiod, and Greek tragedy, though she has also written on classical reception, Plato, Menander, Hellenistic poetry, and Horace. As one of her former graduate students writes, “the ease with which she moves between authors, genres, theoretical models, and time periods is truly exceptional.” She won the Basil Gildersleeve Prize in 1998 for her AJP article “Oral Tradition and Bardic Performances in Homer”, and she has also received teaching and mentoring awards from the University of Michigan, as well as a lifetime achievement award from Eta Sigma Phi and a CAMWS ovatio.
However, what is truly remarkable about Ruth’s career is that she has combined excellence in teaching and research with a record of service to APA / SCS between 1982 and 2018 that is almost unbroken. It is true that there were some years when she did not hold any appointed or elected position. But more often than not, she used her “time off” to participate in and lead other scholarly organizations For example, she did not hold a position at SCS in 2015, but in 2014-2015 she served as President of CAMWS.
In the 1980s, Ruth held many positions in the Association’s Division of Publications (now the Division of Research and Publications). She served on the Editorial Board to Monographs for three years, and immediately after that was appointed as the editor of TAPA. She was elected as Vice President of Publications, serving from 1995 to 1999, during which time she was the Association’s representative to Scholars Press and served in an ex officio capacity on editorial boards for textbooks and monographs. In the 2000s, she put her expertise and experience in editing and evaluating scholarship to good use, when she was elected to the C.J. Goodwin Award of Merit Committee. Her APA Presidency in 2007, coincided with the launch of the Capital Campaign, after the NEH awarded the Association a challenge grant. Ruth was the author of that Campaign’s motto, “From Gatekeeper to Gateway”, which proved so successful in raising funds from individuals and private foundations. After three years on the board of directors, as President-Elect, President, and Past President, Ruth did not step away from the organization. She served as the alternate delegate to FIEC, was elected to the Nominating Committee in 2011, and served as the delegate to the American Council of Learned Societies from 2016-2018.
Throughout her 36 years of service to the Society, Ruth’s contributions and leadership have all been marked by her strong senses of fairness, integrity, generosity, and frankness, and her desire to help younger scholars advance in the field.
In recognition of her dedication and contributions to the field of Classics and to APA / SCS, the Board of Directors is pleased to honor Ruth Scodel with a Distinguished Service Award.