Medallion presented to Chapelle in professorship funded by former LAS faculty member…but a mystery persists

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Dean Beate Schmittmann bestows the medallion on Carol Chapelle signifying her as the first Pavitt Professor of English at ISU.

Carol Chapelle, an Iowa State University Distinguished Professor of English and applied linguistics, received the medallion signifying her as the first Angela B. Pavitt Professor in English in a ceremony on Thursday, March 26.

The professorship honors Chapelle’s professional achievements and will provide her with supplemental annual funds to advance her teaching and research in the Department of English, an academic unit in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

LAS dean Beate Schmittmann said endowed professorships are esteemed positions and are awarded to only to the best professors. “They can boost a researcher’s career in many ways and create opportunities for others, including post-docs, grad students and undergrads,” she said.

“Endowed faculty positions bring two benefits to the holder of the professorship – the unique and distinctive title, and the endowment income. The title is important because it is a mark of distinction and signifies the holder has outstanding academic credentials.”

Chapelle is a leading authority in validity in second language assessment and a major researcher in the fields of computer-assisted language learning and language testing.

The late Dale Grosvenor, a former LAS faculty member in statistics and computer science who received multiple degrees from Iowa State, established the professorship. He died in 2012.

Schmittmann said, however, in “the spirit of transparency,” that the College of LAS has an admission to make. “We don’t know who Angela B. Pavitt is. We have checked high and low, and far and wide, but we cannot find a mention of her – anywhere. She doesn’t even exist on Google.”

The dean said Dale Grosvenor first established this fund in 1990, and “apparently all of those who helped establish it are no longer on campus.”

The mystery remains.

Pavitt Professorship announcement