Sarah Ruffing Robbins is a teacher-scholar with roots in both university and K-12 classrooms. An active leader of public humanities projects, she draws on her interdisciplinary interests in American Studies, Gender Studies, and Race and Ethnic Studies, as well as her affiliations with a range of educational organizations and community initiatives. As holder of the Lorraine Sherley Chair in Literature at TCU, she teaches courses in American culture and writing studies for graduate and undergraduate students.
Building on her B.A. and M.A. studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Sarah began her teaching career in several K-12 settings in Georgia and Michigan. After completing an interdisciplinary doctorate in English and English Education at the University of Michigan, she moved into university-based teaching while maintaining strong ties with K-16 education endeavors.
Prior to joining TCU in Fort Worth in 2009, she taught at Kennesaw State University (KSU) near Atlanta. At KSU, she blended her work as a teacher-scholar with administrative leadership. She was the founding director of the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project (a National Writing Project site), bringing in (and administering) multiple major grants to support the site and its outreach. She helped launch several interdisciplinary academic programs for both undergraduate and graduate students in a consortium that grew to departmental status. She also served as the first Faculty Executive Assistant to the President, and was the first faculty member named a KSU Foundation Professor.
At both TCU and KSU, Sarah has held major academic administrative roles, including serving as interim dean of the Honors College at TCU for two years, as the first Faculty Executive Assistant to the President at Kennesaw State, and as coordinator of interdisciplinary programs at KSU. Nationally, she’s embraced service opportunities for organizations ranging from the Modern Language Association (MLA) and the Society for the Study of American Women Writers (SSAWW) to the National Writing Project (NWP) and the American Studies Association (ASA).
The author of nine academic books, Sarah is a frequent guest speaker and advisor/consultant for interdisciplinary programs, community engagement projects, and humanities-oriented initiatives, including K-12 and university-based partnerships and community-building programs. Her 2017 monograph, Learning Legacies: Archive to Action through Women’s Cross-cultural Teaching, connects her reflections on a number of past projects with analyses of historical precedents from social justice work in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Sarah integrates a strong commitment to graduate and undergraduate liberal arts education with a dedication to civic engagement and interdisciplinary learning. She has directed over two dozen graduate students’ capstone projects, for instance, and she frequently does research and publishes with students. At the undergraduate level, she is an enthusiastic developer of curriculum in a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary contexts, and she enjoys collaborating on student-led co-curricular programs, such as TCU’s GlobalEX program, for which she served as faculty sponsor in its start-up years.
See Sarah’s faculty CV below.