Professor Barry Horwitz Receives 2011 Seminar Teaching Award

Charlie Hamaker, Barry Horwitz and othersSaint Mary’s College honored Professor Barry Horwitz, co-founder of the Collegiate Seminar Events Program - which brings Seminar to life through plays, films and other events - by giving him the 2011 O. DeSales Perez Award for Excellence in Collegiate Seminar.

At the reception in Horwitz’s honor, Charlie Hamaker, director of the Collegiate Seminar, read a poem he had written about Horwitz, calling him “Seminar’s man for our time.” (See poem below.)

Horwitz has been at Saint Mary’s College since 1977, when he joined the English department. As a seminar leader since 1990, he has played in an integral role in extracurricular events for seminar, including his work with the Quixotic Players, which had just wrapped up two-day run of a modern version of the play, “Agamemnon,” the night before the award ceremony. He is also the founder of the Newman Essay Contest, the Undergraduate magazine and the OnStage Newsletter.

Accepting the award, Horwitz paid tribute to DeSales, the legendary leader of the Seminar program and co-founder of the Seminar events program.

“What I learned from DeSales was that everybody deserves an opportunity to practice her or his art,” he said. “He taught us to be brave enough to do what we love to do, and that’s how all this came about. Serving the students by serving the best we can offer.”

Brother President Ronald Gallagher praised Horwitz for his extracurricular programs, which he said have changed and enhanced the way the College conducts the Seminar program and for his fire and energy as a teacher, organizer and mentor.

With more than 20 years of Seminar experience, Horwitz said he is still impressed by the different viewpoints each class of students brings.

“I’ve learned to listen to the students as much as possible because it’s always different. Every semester is always different,” he said.

Kathryn Geraghty ’12

Read Professor Horwitz’s remarks.

Professor Charlie Hamaker's Ode to Barry Horwitz

Sing, o Muse, of the man of twists and turns,
Aboil with stratagems, dreams, and schemes –
Dramaturge, scripter, impresario, facilitator, rolled all into one.
Gracious, loquacious, perspicacious,
He wrested from the void drama hung on shoestrings,
Bricolaged from myriad fragments and wisps
relentlessly ferreted out by the master improviser.
All the while, he struggled to bring his students
To the hearth of Wisdom, cajoling, wheedling, noodging them
To discuss, to probe, to view a text aslant;
To engender a thesis, to counter the counter-argument –
Foolish children, thinking that a single rewrite
would quench his endless hunger for revision upon revision!
Yes, sing of Barry, Seminar’s man for our time.