Orange Alert

A&S Professor Wins Award for a Career Record of Outstanding Mentorship

Gwendolyn D. Pough, a scholar of Black feminist theory, is recognized by the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric & Composition.

Nov. 6, 2023, by Kerrie Marshall

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Gwendolyn D. Pough

Gwendolyn D. Pough, dean’s professor of the humanities and professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, is the latest recipient of the 2023 Ede Mentoring Award from the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric & Composition (CFSHRC). The biennial award recognizes impactful mentorship of students, campus leadership, professionals and others.

A scholar of Black feminist theory, African American rhetoric, women’s studies, and hip-hop culture­, Pough has a Ph.D. in English from Miami University.


In her 2004 book Check it While I Wreck It: Black Womanhood, Hip Hop Culture, and the Public Sphere, Pough examines the ways in which black women use the counter-public sphere of hip-hop to claim a voice for themselves and to influence the ways in which black women are represented in both the male dominated space of hip-hop culture and the larger United States society. She has been recognized for her outstanding teaching skills and creating an engaging learning environment that fosters critical thinking skills.

CFSHRC is a diverse organization dedicated to advancing feminist research and pedagogy through collaboration. Their mission is to educate, mentor, and promote scholarship. The award announcement states that, “Many talk about her presence, her generosity, her intellect, and her mentorship in terms that are reserved for someone who has been among the most impactful people in their lives.” It goes on to say, “Indeed, the committee was impressed by the holistically strong nomination filled with letters from a diverse and equally impressive collective of mentees. “

A Syracuse faculty member since 2004, Pough previously served as both the director of graduate studies for the Composition and Cultural Rhetoric Doctoral program and the William P. Tolley Distinguished Professor in the Humanities where she helped to shape conversations about pedagogical practices in the classroom with an emphasis on diversity, inclusion, social justice and activism. Pough is the current president-elect of the Rhetoric Society of America (RSA) and the first Black woman to lead the organization.

Pough has also served as assistant chair, associate chair and chair of the Conference on College Composition and Communication; chair of the Third Wave Feminisms Group of the National Women’s Studies Association; and as an elected official to executive boards for both the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric & Composition and the Association of Rhetoric and Writing Studies. At Syracuse, Pough was chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies from July 2011 to June 2014, and again from January 2018 to June 2021.


Gwendolyn Pough Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility, Dean's Professor of the Humanities, Professor

Media Contact

Kerrie Marshall