Student Honor Society Picks Resler For
Teaching Award

By Mark Sullivan
Staff Writer

Prof. Michael Resler (Germanic Studies), praised by colleagues and students for the zest he brings to his classes on German legend, music and philosophy, was selected as winner of the Phi Beta Kappa Annual Teaching Award.
The award is given by students in the Boston College chapter of the academic honor society to faculty members who have achieved distinction as teachers and advisors. A 21-year faculty member, Resler is the 10th recipient of the award since its establishment in 1990.

Assoc. Prof. Richard Tresch (Economics), the chapter's president, notes that Resler chairs a small, but high-achieving, department. While Germanic Studies graduates perhaps six majors annually, it has averaged more than one Fulbright Scholar in each of the past dozen years. Due to its size, Tresch added, Germanic Studies has not even been represented in the Phi Beta Kappa chapter some years.

Prof. Michael Resler (Germanic Studies). (Photo by Elena Vizvary)
Yet Resler has received "an enormous amount" of nominations for the teaching award since its inception, Tresch said. "Anyone who goes through that department just thinks he's fabulous."

"I'm flabbergasted, but highly honored," Resler said. "For me, it's a reaffirmation of what is the most important part of this job. To me, the teaching is the part of the job that is real - the flesh and blood."

Resler believes his enthusiasm contributes greatly to his effectiveness as a teacher. "I think passion is the key," said Resler. "You can't sell the goods to your students if you're not passionate about what you're doing. You can't fake that. I find myself exhausted at the end of the hour."

Resler, a medieval philologist - or scholar of historical linguistics - who specializes in 12th century German Arthurian romances, came to Boston College after receiving his doctorate from Harvard University in 1976. He was named a full professor in 1991, and has chaired the Germanic Studies Department since 1992.

A member of the University's Fulbright Committee since 1985, he was the founding director in 1995 of the Boston College Fellowships Program, an initiative to boost the competitiveness of BC students for Fulbright, Rhodes and other prestigious graduate fellowships.

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