Department chair departs College

edited.Moncrief_TamzinB.SmithBy Julia Fuchs

Elm Staff Writer

Professor of English and Department Chair Kathryn Moncrief is leaving Washington College after the end of the school year.

Dr. Moncrief confirmed this will be her final semester at WC, she will be accepting a new position at Worchester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. She will be serving as a Distinguished Professor of Humanities and Head of Humanities and Arts. 

“My new position is Paris Fletcher Distinguished Professor of Humanities and Head of Humanities and Arts at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, MA,” Dr. Moncrief said.

Dr. Moncrief has been teaching at Washington College for 20 years and has been chair of the department for 12 years. Currently, Dr. Moncrief teaches Shakespeare courses, 17th and 18th century literature, and Early Modern English Drama. 

“Dr. Moncrief is a loss to the College. She has been here a long time, is an excellent teacher and a tremendous contributor to campus. Having her leave is not a good thing for the College,” President Kurt Landgraf said.

As of now, there is no information on the new department chair. There are no new faculty being added for next year, according to Dr. Moncrief.

Students are upset to see Dr. Moncrief leave the college. She has worked with many English majors, creative writing minors, and recently journalism, editing, and publishing minors.

Dr. Courtney Rydel, assistant professor of English, has worked with Moncrief for the past six years.

Rydel said it was hard to put words to how she felt about Dr. Moncrief’s leaving.

“It’s like trying to describe oxygen. She has such enthusiasm for the material she teaches and how she challenges her students,” she said.

Dr. Moncrief, while being heavily involved in the English department, has also had some involvement with the Department of Theatre and Dance, as well as past productions. Dr. Moncrief last year was in the play “Major Barbara,” directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre Brendon Fox, and played one of the supporting characters, Lady Britomart Undershaft. 

English majors, along with the entire campus community will miss Dr. Moncrief very much next year. The new head of the department will be announced as soon as they are chosen. The English department is trying to figure out who the new head of the department will be for next year. The new chair will be taking on responsibilities such as managing educational requirements, approving thesis papers and managing the department. 

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