Forever in the pursuit of knowledge, Linda Bensel-Meyers chose her career path because she wanted to further her education. She is a first generation college graduate, and loves the academic environment. Dr. Bensel-Meyers earned a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in renaissance drama and rhetoric, and a bachelor’s degree in English and dramatic theory. She currently serves as an associate professor in the English department at the University of Denver, a position she has held since 2003. Dr. Bensel-Meyers is also the secretary general of the International Society for the History of Rhetoric, which promotes the study of the theory and practice of rhetoric in all periods and languages. It also looks into the relationship of rhetoric to poetics, literary theory and criticism, philosophy, politics, religion, law and culture.
The biggest challenge Dr. Bensel-Meyers had to overcome in her career was uncovering systematic academic fraud in the athletic program at the University of Tennessee. She worked at the establishment from 1986 to 2003 as the director of the writing programs, and because of her position, she had access to records showing a variety of violations, including plagiarism and grade changes. Dr. Bensel-Meyers spent years trying to reform the program she felt was cheating athletes out of a proper education, but was met with anger and scorn from the football-loving campus and community. Eventually, however, her efforts led her to speak nationally before the Knight Commission on Collegiate Sports and as a keynote for the National Institute for sports reform. Additionally, she won the Distinguished Service Award from the International Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame and the Robert M. Hutchins Award for Academic Integrity.
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