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Susan Lee Pentlin

Susan Lee Pentlin

            A scholar known for her work in the classroom and her research on history of German teaching and the Holocaust, Susan Lee Pentlin dedicated more than 34 years to CMSU and its students. She retired Dec. 31, 2004 as professor emerita of modern languages.

            Pentlin is a CMSU alumna. She earned her bachelor’s degree in French here, and graduated summa cum laude. She also pursues graduate study at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she earned a master’s degree with a major in German language and literature, and received her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

            After coming to CMSU in 1970, she taught briefly as a Fulbright Exchange Teacher in Freising, West Germany, and spent a year as an assistant instructor at KU, where she taught German while pursuing doctoral study. In addition to teaching in CMSU’s Department of Modern Languages, Pentlin was an active participant in numerous university committees, scholarly research, and professional service activities.

            She was a champion for human rights issues, and spoke out against racism and sexism as it applied to the collegiate atmosphere. Pentlin takes great pride in having been at the first meetings on women’s issues and serving on the first Women’s Studies Committee on campus. She was also involved in the “Women in Contemporary Society” symposium series on campus in 1986 that brought the Nobel Prize for Peace winner Betty Williams and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Carolyn Kizer.

            In the 1990s, Gov. Mel Carnahan appointed Pentlin to a sex-year term representing the 4th district on the Missouri Commission of Human Rights. She was reappointed in 2000 and currently serves on the commission’s executive committee.

            Her numerous achievement include teaching seminars and colloquia on the Holocaust. As recently as spring 2005, she taught the colloquia “The Holocaust in Memory.”