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Martha Gehringer

Instructor in Writing, Rhetoric, and Communication; Program Director


Transylvania University
300 North Broadway
Lexington, KY 40508-1797

Phone: (859) 233-8519
e-mail Martha Gehringer


“I try to get the students to love writing the way I love writing. I think that says it all.”

At the very heart of Martha Gehringer's success as an instructor is her passion for writing.

For more than 35 years, Gehringer has been sharing that passion—particularly her love of poetry—with many who have passed through her door, whether they are students in first-year seminar classes or writing, rhetoric, and communication (WRC), the program she and four other faculty members developed.

While she teaches such core WRC subjects as basic writing, creative writing, business writing, and journalism, Gehringer also focuses much of her time and energy on the First-Year Seminar Program (FYS) and special topics courses. She's taught FYS classes on a wide range of subjects, from John James Audubon and Constantine Rafinesque to her current service-learning course affectionately dubbed the "do-gooders" class.

Gehringer is also widely published, having contributed poetry to numerous publications. She has won a Bingham Award for Excellence in Teaching and received Lilly Foundation and Kentucky Foundation for Women grants, among others.

Perhaps Gehringer's most important contribution to Transylvania's academic landscape, though, lies in the extremely successful Writing Center she created in the early 1980s and directed until 2010. Located in Haupt Humanities, the Writing Center carries out Gehringer's vision to "provide a service for students and faculty dedicated to addressing writing concerns across the spectrum."

Regardless of what Gehringer teaches or with whom she works, she approaches her students in much the same way her own "extraordinary" teachers approached her.

"I'm very nurturing as a teacher," she says. "I'm indulgent in that I don't try to impose knowledge on them. I try to draw out of them their strengths."


Want to know more about Transylvania's WRC program?

Academic history

Courses taught

Publications

Awards and honors

Areas of specialization

Professional memberships

Academic history

  • M.A., English, University of Kentucky, 1980
  • B.A., English, University of Kentucky, 1975

Courses taught

  • First-Year Seminar
  • First-Year Research Seminar
  • Writing Laboratory
  • Basic Writing
  • Business Writing
  • Introduction to Journalism
  • Art of Persuasive Writing
  • Writing Practicum
  • Fiction Workshop
  • Writing for Writing's Sake (May term travel course to Ireland)
  • Drawing on Ireland
  • Visions and Visionaries

Publications

  • Poems published in Bigger Than They Appear, edited by Katerina Stoykova-Klemer, Accents Publishing, 2011
  • Retributions: Elections, Floods, and Wishing Well, new and recent artwork by Jack Girard with poetry by Martha Gehringer, Transylvania University Morlan Art Gallery Catalog, 2010
  • Writer/editor of Fit4Fun Reader, an elementary school sustainable living magazine, 2011

Awards and honors

  • Bingham Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • Jones Grant for Summer Writing Projects
  • Kentucky Foundation for Women Grant
  • Wye Faculty Seminar
  • Hopscotch House Residencies
  • Jones Keenan Grants for research/travel
  • Lilly Foundation Grants

Areas of specialization

  • Creative writing
  • Rhetoric and composition

Professional memberships

  • Conference on College Composition and Communication
  • National Council of Teachers of English


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