Oval seal on OSU campus

Rudine Sims Bishop receives university’s Distinguished Service Award

Leading literary scholar Rudine Sims Bishop will receive the Distinguished Service Award at The Ohio State University’s autumn 2013 commencement, December 15.

The professor emerita in the College of Education and Human Ecology has influenced the growth and appreciation of multicultural children’s literature on an international level.

Bishop also was honored recently by the National Council of Teachers of English, which presented her with the James R. Squire Award for outstanding service to the council and to the profession of education.

She told a biographer that her life's work has been built on the foundation "that all American children, but especially black children, need to learn the story of African Americans' struggle on the journey."

In 1982, with the publication of her seminal book, Shadow and Substance: Afro-American Experience in Contemporary Children’s Fiction, Bishop became one of the first researchers to produce scholarly criticism about how African Americans are represented in children’s books and the impact that representation has on children’s lives. In the ensuing decades, she has published extensively, including Kaleidoscope: A Multicultural Booklist for Grades K–8 and Free within Ourselves: The Development of African American Children's Literature.

At Ohio State, Bishop taught children’s literature courses from 1986 until her retirement in 2002. During that time, she served on numerous university committees; directed doctoral research; chaired the Language, Literacy and Culture section in the Department of Teaching and Learning; and co-chaired the highly regarded annual Children’s Literature Conference at Ohio State.

She was known for establishing long-lasting relationships with her students and for making her massive, private collection of children’s literature available to the Ohio State community. In 2004, her family, friends and colleagues established the Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop Scholarship Fund in Children’s Literature to support doctoral students at Ohio State.

For her contributions to the field of children’s literature, Bishop has garnered significant recognition. The National Council of Teachers of English previously selected her for its Outstanding Elementary Language Arts Educator and Distinguished Service awards. In 2001, she was inducted into the Reading Hall of Fame. She also has received the Arbuthnot Award, given to an outstanding college or university teacher of children’s or young adult literature, and served on the selection committees for the Caldecott and Newbery medals for children’s books.

Bishop began her career in 1959 as an elementary school teacher. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from West Chester University, her master's in education from the University of Pennsylvania and her EdD in curriculum development (reading and children's literature) from Wayne State University. Prior to her arrival at Ohio State in 1986, she taught children’s literature, reading and language arts courses at Morgan State College, Wayne State University, the State University of New York at Buffalo and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Suggested Stories