Lehman Professors Chosen for 2015 “Irish Education 100”

January 8, 2016 3:14 pm English Dept, In the News, Library, School of Arts and Humanities, Uncategorized
Dr. Deirdre Pettipiece

Dr. Deirdre Pettipiece

Two highly respected Lehman professors were selected as part of the 2015 Irish Education 100, a listing of leading figures in education across the United States.

Dr. Deirdre Pettipiece, the dean of the School of Arts and Humanities and Professor Janet Munch, a member of the Leonard Lief Library faculty, were the Lehman honorees and received their awards on December 9, at the residence of the Consulate General of Ireland. The Irish Voice newspaper annually publishes a special print edition that features all 100 honorees.

Pettipiece is the daughter of Irish immigrants, spent part of her childhood living in Ireland and still has extended family there. Munch is of Irish descent and her family has roots in Roscommon, Dublin, and Cork counties. “All the educators in this year’s group are recognized for our focus on doing what’s best for students and our communities, and each member has his or her own narrative of how we found our way into education,” says Pettipiece. “In my case, I believe the selection committee noted my very non-traditional road to higher education and my position as the first college graduate on either side of my family tree.”

Pettipiece raised two children while going to graduate school and  simultaneously worked as a forklift operator. Before coming to Lehman, she was the associate dean of arts and sciences at West Chester University of Pennsylvania.

Munch believes her selection  stems from her work on the CUNY Institute for the Irish-American Studies Faculty Council and as the discussion leader for the group’s Irish American book club. “My ties to the Irish Americans in New York are much stronger than my grandparent’s personal ties to Ireland, she says. “As the book discussion leader for the CUNY Institute for Irish American Studies, I enjoy bringing people together who are interested in the issues faced by Irish Americans. For those emigrating from Ireland to America, we see recurring themes of how they adapt to this country, the values that they bring- and the influences that they exert in their daily lives.”

Pettipiece described the December event at the residence of Consul General Barbara Jones as “really lovely with views of New York from every window.” “The place was packed tight with brilliant Irish and Irish-American educators, all very friendly,” she says. “When the Consul General spoke she was eloquent and gracious, reminding everyone how important education has traditionally been to the Irish, but how important it also is to everyone as we negotiate these complicated times.”

Pettipiece has written on a wide range of topics, including Sex Theories and the Shaping of Two Moderns: Hemingway and H.D. (Routledge, 2002) that focuses on the infusion of evolutionary reading and language in the works of the legendary authors Ernest Hemingway and Hilda Doolittle.

Munch was a co-editor of the 2014 Bronx Faces and Voices: Sixteen Stories of Courage and Community. She is the coordinator of Bronx Special Collections, the library’s collection of yearbooks, catalogs, newspapers, reports, photographs, rare books and memorabilia.