Dr. Debrah Raschke, professor of English at Southeast Missouri State University, recently was awarded the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
“I am so honored to receive this award. In advising students, whether on prospective careers, graduate theses, or even a paper they are writing, I repeatedly tell students that they should follow their passion, that this will shape their uniqueness and their contributions to the world,” Raschke said. “I am so grateful to Southeast Missouri State University, which has enabled me to follow mine.”
The Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching is presented to an outstanding faculty member from each participating higher education institution in the state. Each institution has flexibility in selecting its award recipient. The following criteria are recommended: effective teaching, effective advising, service to the University community, commitment to high standards of excellence and success in nurturing student achievement.
Dr. Carlos Vargas, president of Southeast Missouri State University, said “Dr. Raschke is a superb teacher, advisor and scholar. Her dedication and focus on the success of her students inside and outside the classroom distinguishes her among faculty at Southeast and across Missouri. Dr. Raschke has impacted countless students during her more than 20 years at Southeast, and it is a true honor to celebrate this achievement with her.”
The award recognizes outstanding teachers and the impact they have on students.
“To my students I owe so much—they have provided me with inspiration, sparks of illumination, and much generosity. Several are still in contact after their graduation. They have and continue to enrich my life immensely. I love my job and know how fortunate I am to have work that brings me joy,” said Raschke, who has been employed by Southeast for more than 20 years.
In January, Raschke was the recipient of Southeast’s Provost’s Research, Instruction and Development for Excellence (PRIDE) Award which recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated excellence as a teacher, an extraordinary level of scholarship and service and whose overall accomplishments are especially noteworthy.
She has served and continues to serve on numerous committees within the University. Currently, she is a member of the University Tenure and Promotion and Sabbatical Leave Advisory Committee and the Department of English’s Literature Committee and Faculty Development Committee. She is the chair of the University Library Committee.
Raschke has also been active in two international organizations, the Margaret Atwood Society and the Doris Lessing Society, both of which are allied organizations of the Modern Language Association (MLA). She served as president of the Doris Lessing Society from 2003-2006 and served as MLA liaison for both societies.
Raschke has been honored with the College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Teaching Award and the Margaret Atwood Society’s Best Article Award. She has presented at numerous international and national conferences, including several presentations at the highly competitive MLA Convention. She has served as a reviewer of manuscripts for several prominent journals such as “Twentieth-Century Literature,” “Papers of the Modern Language Association” and “Contemporary Women Writers.”
She has published two books, “Modernism, Metaphysics, and Sexuality,” and “Doris Lessing: Interrogating the Times,” which she co-edited with two Lessing scholars. Raschke’s scholarship focuses on two primary areas: British modernism and contemporary Anglo-phone literature.
“My scholarship has provided a conduit for delving deeper into texts and for broadening the horizons of a course. It is my hope that I pass on to students the ability to think beyond traditional paradigms,” Raschke said. “It is my hope, as well, that I can help students navigate many of the unwritten rules that traverse so many career choices and to make whatever path they choose easier for them.”
She has published 26 articles or book chapters. Among them are “Margaret Atwood’s ‘MaddAddam’ Trilogy: Postmodernism, Apocalypse, and Rapture” in “Studies in Canadian Literature” and “Framed Identity: Finding Lucy in Atwood’s Death by Landscape” in “Mosaic.” Her work on Atwood’s trilogy identifies concerns with the slow death of the imagination. Raschke’s work is also characterized by her work in contemporary literary theory, which she sees as an inviolable conduit for understanding contemporary culture. She is considered one of the foremost researchers of the works of Doris Lessing and Margaret Atwood.
Raschke holds a doctoral degree in English from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and a Master of Arts in English and Bachelor of Arts in social sciences, both from Colorado State University.
Before coming to Southeast in 1997, Raschke served as a visiting assistant professor at the College of William & Mary, the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University. She started at Southeast as an assistant professor, becoming an associate professor in 2001 and professor in 2006.