English professor earns a prestigious honor


Special to the Ticker

Amanda Salazar, Editor-in-Chief

Baruch College’s Distinguished English Professor Grace Schulman was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters as a part of their 2019 cohort of new members.

The Academy, which was founded in 1898, is “an honor society of the country’s 250 leading architects, artists, composers, and writers,” according to their website. Members are elected for life, so new members are only inducted when there becomes a vacancy.

This year, Schulman was one of 11 people who were elected this year and who will be inducted on May 22. The incoming members are chosen by the current members.

“It’s wonderful,” she said in a phone-call interview with The Ticker. “It’s wonderful to be recognized by your peers and a lot of people you so admire and respect.”

An email from CUNY Communications congratulating her on her new achievement and spreading the word of her election described Schulman as distinguished and dedicated.

“Professor Schulman’s induction into the American Academy of Arts and Letters is the climax of a long and distinguished career as poet, writer, editor, and, of course, teacher,” Weissman School of Arts and Sciences Dean Aldemaro Romero Jr. was quoted in the email. “It is as proud a moment for the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences as it is for her, and it brings the highest level of national recognition that she so richly deserves for her extraordinary accomplishments.”

Aside from being a professor at Baruch, Schulman is the author of several poetry and essay collections, as well as a memoir. Additionally, she has worked as an editor, translator and critic. 

For her work, she has won a total of nine awards, including the Frost Medal for Distinguished Lifetime Achievement in American Poetry in 2016, the Delmore Schwartz Award for Poetry in 1996 and the Distinguished Alumni Award from New York University Graduate Arts and Sciences in 2003.

“This is a marvelous honor for Professor Grace Schulman, and for all of CUNY,” said Interim Chancellor Vita C. Rabinowitz, as quoted in the email blast. “Election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters signals the sterling caliber of Grace Schulman’s contributions to literature, as well as the consistency she has displayed throughout the decades as an artist and educator.” 

When asked if she had any advice for students who want to make a career out of writing, Schulman said, “Read constantly.” 

“Read your beloved writers. Form attachments with writers you love, and without that love, without that passion you can’t really create much that is worthwhile. You have to keep working, you have to keep reading,” she continued.

In addition to being grateful to the Academy and its members, the distinguished professor said that she is thankful for Baruch’s support, as well.

“I’m very, very grateful to Baruch College for having nurtured me for all of these years and giving me students I could exchange [and] communicate with and convey the art of writing to,” Schulman said. “And most important, giving me the time to write.”