SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Saint Michael's College professor Joan Wry '79 received the third annual Northeast-10 Conference Dr. Dave Landers Faculty Mentor Award on Monday during the NE10's year-end banquet at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, as educators from the College have swept the accolade each year since its inception in 2017. The award is named for the College's long-time faculty athletics representative (FAR).
Wry, an English professor and director of the College's Honors Program, is a Purple Knight women's cross country alumna and serves as the faculty affiliate for that team, providing academic support and guidance to the student-athletes. As the third Saint Michael's professor in as many years to claim the honor, Wry followed 2017 winner Ray Patterson, the College's Religious Studies Department Chair and FAR, and 2018 honoree Paul Olsen, an associate professor of business administration and accounting.
The Dr. Dave Landers Faculty Mentor Award is chosen by a group of Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) members at NE10 institutions. It is named for Landers, a long-time Saint Michael's professor and FAR. The College's faculty member of the year award also bears Landers' name, and is an accolade Wry earned this year from the Saint Michael's SAAC.
Among the numerous representatives of Saint Michael's on hand to support Wry, three presented the award on Monday: Landers, men's swimming & diving rising junior captain and 2019-20 Saint Michael's SAAC President Dan Fortier (Sandwich, Mass./Sandwich), and women's lacrosse May graduate Annie Martin (Mattapoisett, Mass./Bishop Stang), whose tenure as an administrative intern with the NE10 office begins in September.
Wry, who is completing her 31st year as an educator with her alma mater, including having previously spent nearly a decade as the College's associate dean, is a well-regarded member of the Saint Michael's community, evident in her winning yet another award this past school year, the annual major faculty award for teaching, named for Joanne Rathgeb, during the Academic Convocation in September.
Wry was a trailblazing student-athlete in the 1970s, becoming the first woman to ever run cross country at the College, competing as the only female entrant in every meet in her first two seasons of competition. She was among the top 10 at the Vermont Intercollegiate Championship three times, studying abroad in France and England as a junior during the other year. Wry was the cornerstone of the College's first varsity women's cross country team, as a senior in fall 1978. She won three races that year and graduated as co-valedictorian of the Class of 1979 with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average.