4.0526 Hurrahs for a Humanist (1/39)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Tue, 25 Sep 90 22:46:13 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0526. Tuesday, 25 Sep 1990.

Date: Fri, 21 Sep 90 13:34:20 EDT
From: Willard McCarty <MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: honour to a Humanist

Allow me to share with you an exceptional piece of good news, a very
fine example of humane computing officially recognized and honoured.
Norman Coombs, a fellow Humanist, has been named Professor of the Year
by New York State, as the following article will explain. He sent me the
article, I begged him to allow me to pass it on to Humanist, and he
finally consented.

Yours, Willard McCarty
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Tuesday, September 18, 1990

Norman Coombs
named Professor
of the Year

Norman R. Coombs, a blind professor of history at the Rochester
Institute of Technology, has been named New York State Professor of the
Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

The organization chose Coombs from 537 state nominees for his
extraordinary commitment to teaching, service to RIT and his profession,
and his impact on students, according to RIT. About 2,900 colleges and
universities belong to the council, the nation's largest association of
educational institutions. Coombs, who has worked at RIT since 1961, is
known for teaching his classes along with telecourses in the College of
Continuing Education through RIT's computer network. He conducts class
discussions and sends and receives assignments all on the computer. A
voice synthesizer enables him to "read" his students' electronic
messages. "I tell them I'm blind, but it's irrelevant," Coombs said in
the written announcement. "I work on the computer the same as they do.
The computer obliterates my handicap."

Coombs is on a sabbatical leave to adapt three of his black history
courses for computer delivery. Coombs wrote _Black Experience in
America_ and he has published extensively on computerized instruction.
He has a master's degree and a doctorate in history from the University
of Wisconsin at Madison.