by Carly Schnitzler, Graduate Communications Editor

Celebrated professor Dr. Connie Eble is this year’s recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award at UNC-Chapel Hill. The Thomas Jefferson Award was established in 1961 and is presented annually to “that member of the academic community who through personal influence and performance of duty in teaching, writing, and scholarship has best exemplified the ideals and objectives of Thomas Jefferson.”

In his remarks presenting Dr. Eble with the Thomas Jefferson Award at a recent Faculty Council meeting, UNC English and Comparative Literature Professor Michael McFee said, “Like Mr. Jefferson, Ms. Eble is a devoted public servant. … I have seen first-hand her thoughtful, cheerful, insightful participation in whatever she’s asked to help with. I’m not sure she’s ever said ‘No’ to serving others, and all of us—students, colleagues, fellow scholars, and citizens of the state and the world—have benefited from her generosity and her profound humanitarian vocation.”

Dr. Eble is the Department of English and Comparative Literature’s long-time linguist, specializing in the history, structure, and current use of the English language.  She joined the UNC faculty in 1971, after receiving her graduate degrees from Carolina in 1967 (MA) and 1970 (PhD). Teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in contemporary English grammar and usage led her to sociolinguistics and to the study of the slang vocabulary of college students.  Dr. Eble’s 1996 book, Slang and Sociability: In-Group Language Among College Students, has become the foundational work on the subject, and her semester-by-semester corpus of Carolina undergraduate slang spanning more than thirty years constitutes a unique record of American English.  

The Department of English and Comparative Literature would like to extend a hearty congratulations to Dr. Eble and thanks her for her many exemplary years of research, teaching, service, and dedication to the Department.

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