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Catawba College Professor Gathers Books, Departs for Kiev, Ukraine

August 26, 2005

Category: Academics, English, Faculty

Phil Cavalier

“My books are U-books,” has been the mantra recently of Dr. Phillip Acree Cavalier, associate professor of English and assistant dean of Catawba College.   That’s because Acree Cavalier knows that the “U” stands for Ukraine, a place he and family will spend the next 10 months.

Acree Cavalier learned last April that he had been awarded a Fulbright Lectureship in American literature in Kiev, Ukraine for the 2005-06 academic year through the Fulbright Scholars Program. He, along with wife Carol and their three sons, will live in Kiev between September 2005 and June 2006, and will teach two courses in American literature each semester at Kiev International University.

In preparation for that academic adventure, Acree Cavalier spent some time before his August 26th departure spearheading a book drive on campus to collect American literature texts which he shipped to Kiev.   “The library at the university where I’ll be teaching doesn’t have a collection of American literature books and the students typically can’t afford to buy copies of their own,” Acree Cavalier explained.   “To read their assignments, they go to a reading hall and access books on reserve.

“Thanks to the texts collected in this book drive, my students in Kiev will be able to have a book to use in class and study from during the semester.   When I leave, the books will stay behind in the library.   That’s really what the Fulbright Program is about.   It’s not about academics just going over to visit for 10 months; it’s about bringing resources that will improve the circumstances of our international colleagues.”

;Phil Cavalier

Acree Cavalier joined the faculty at Catawba College as an assistant professor of English in August 2000, and was twice voted “Teacher of the Year.”   He assumed responsibility for Catawba’s First-Year Seminar Program in 2001, and was promoted to associate professor of English in 2004.   Also in 2004, he was named assistant academic dean of the College.   In that capacity, he has served as Catawba’s chief academic advisor and as coordinator of summer school.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Swarthmore College, his master’s degree in English from Northeastern University, and his doctorate in English from State University of New York at Buffalo.   Prior to coming to Catawba, he taught for two years in the Great Books Program at Auburn University.   In addition to serving as an instructor at Auburn, Acree Cavalier also taught at SUNY-Cortland College, Cornell University, SUNY-Buffalo, and Northeastern University.

After earning his bachelor’s degree, Acree Cavalier initially pursued a career on Wall Street before ultimately following his desire to return to academe in pursuit of his advanced degrees.   His areas of specialization are 19th century American literature and African-American literature.    

Each year, through the Fulbright Scholars Program named in honor of the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright, approximately 1,000 U.S. faculty and professionals from all disciplines travel to over 130 countries around the world to teach and conduct research. Acree Cavalier’s award was one of approximately 50 lectureship awards across the nation in the discipline American Literature/American Studies.   The Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  

While away in the Ukraine, Acree Cavalier promises to regularly share his thoughts and impressions in a biweekly column entitled, “Notes from Kiev.”   Look for his first posting by mid-September.

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