SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - During her 20 years of teaching English at Shepherd University, Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt has strived to make her subject matter come alive.
The Shepherd professor developed the Writer-in-Residence project, in which distinguished contemporary Appalachian writers come to the university in the fall and stay a week.
Shurbutt also has established the Prominence-of-Place study program, where Shepherd students visit places abroad such as Florence and Rome, where great writers lived or were inspired.
Shurbutt said she believes the trips "make literature come to life" for students.
Shurbutt's extraordinary work at Shepherd has earned her the West Virginia Professor of the Year award, which was given to the Jefferson County resident Tuesday in Charleston, W.Va.