Buzz Alexander - Passion Statement

Outstanding Doctoral and Research Universities Professor of the Year National Winner
Buzz Alexander
Professor of English Language and Literature
University of Michigan

Buzz Alexander, Outstanding Doctoral and Research Universities Professor of the Year, has taught English at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, since 1971 and was awarded the university's highest teaching honor, the Arthur F. Thurnau Professorship, in 2003. Throughout his teaching career, Alexander has worked to instill a commitment to community action in his students. He has developed courses that train students to lead workshops in theater, art, creative writing and the other arts at prisons, juvenile facilities and marginalized high schools in the Detroit area. The workshops give prisoners, incarcerated youth, and inner-city youth an opportunity to develop and perform material drawn from their own lives, encouraging collaborative endeavor, individual growth and pride in accomplishment. So that students might continue this work and more after their course work ends, Alexander founded the Prison Creative Arts Project, which enables students to continue volunteering in teams at these institutions outside of the classroom environment. Alexander earned bachelor's degrees from Harvard and Cambridge Universities and a Ph.D. from Harvard University.