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Parolin Appointed as UW Honors College Dean

July 22, 2019
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Peter Parolin

The current associate dean of the University of Wyoming Honors College has been appointed to lead that college.

Peter Parolin, associate professor in the Department of English, assumes the deanship of the Honors College following the departure of Donal Skinner, who has led the college since its creation two years ago. Parolin’s appointment was approved last week by the UW Board of Trustees.

“In our first two years as a college, we made extraordinary progress under Dean Skinner. We have built a great team of teachers and mentors who are fully committed to student success,” Parolin says. “We know our efforts are paying off because we have seen a tremendous upsurge of student interest in the college. Honors is already playing a critical role in recruiting high-achieving students to UW. I look forward to working with colleagues to continue our momentum, to advance the mission of UW and to serve our students well.”

Parolin received his bachelor’s degree in English and history from the University of British Columbia (1988), and his master’s degree and Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania (1997). He joined the UW Department of English in 1997. He chaired the department from 2008-2011 and 2014-17 as well as serving as assistant chair of English from 2005-07 and, again, in spring 2018. In August 2018, he became associate dean of the Honors College.

“Dr. Parolin has played a key role in establishing the Honors College, and his leadership will be instrumental to continue the progress that has been made,” Provost Kate Miller says. “We’re excited he has agreed to assume this responsibility.”

At UW, Parolin has taught for the Department of English, the Honors College, the Department of Theatre and Dance, and Gender and Women’s Studies. His courses include Shakespeare’s genres, political theater, early English literature and the first-year honors colloquium. He has received 20 teaching awards at UW, including the John P. Ellbogen Meritorious Classroom Teaching Award, the College of Arts and Sciences Extraordinary Merit in Teaching Award and seven selections as an Arts and Sciences Top Ten Teacher.

Parolin’s research focuses on theater and culture in early modern and contemporary contexts. He has published most extensively on women’s performance in early modern Europe, including the co-edited volume, co-edited with Pamela Allen Brown, “Women Players in Europe 1500-1660: Beyond the ‘All-Male’ Stage” (Ashgate, 2005).

Parolin is involved in multiple capacities with contemporary theater. He regularly teaches a “Shakespeare in England and Italy” course for the Honors College, in which UW students experience live Shakespeare performed by some of the most accomplished companies in the world; he lectures every year at North America’s largest theater festival, the Stratford Festival of Canada; and he has performed frequently as an actor in Laramie for both the UW Department of Theatre and Dance and the independent company Relative Theatrics.

“I have loved working at UW for over 20 years. It is a Wyoming treasure, a remarkable institution that provides extraordinary opportunities to students,” Parolin says. “It is a privilege to work with our Honors College students. These young people blow me away. In addition to their excellent academic records, they are ambitious to make a difference in the world. Honors will support their aspirations by offering them dynamic interdisciplinary courses, transformative study-abroad experiences, high-level independent research opportunities, and meaningful service and leadership roles. As dean, I will work my heart out to give our Wyoming students the world-class education they deserve.”

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