Alumnus of the Month

Robert Bird, DA (1998) 

Robert Bird is an English professor at Brigham Young University—Idaho, where he teaches American Romanticism, literary theory, advanced writing, and introductory philosophy courses.


He earned a Doctor of Arts degree in English (with an interdisciplinary component in philosophy) from Idaho State University in 1998.  He entered the doctoral program at Idaho State after completing a master’s degree from the University of Utah and a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and after having taught English at Ricks College, Utah State University, and Salt Lake Community College.


At BYU-I, Robert has served as the president of the Faculty Association from 2011-2013 and as the chair of the university forum committee from 2002-2005.


For three years, he directed an American literature travel study program through the Eastern United States, studying 19th century authors, especially the Transcendentalists in Concord, MA.  He specializes in American Transcendentalism, particularly Ralph Waldo Emerson.  He is writing on Aristotle’s influence on Emerson’s virtue ethics.


Currently, he is a faculty director for the British literature study abroad program to Ireland and England, leading students in the study of Shakespearean and Renaissance drama in London and in Stratford-upon-Avon. During his studies at ISU, he extensively researched and wrote a doctoral paper on the plays of the Renaissance writer Christopher Marlowe.


As part of his doctoral requirements at ISU, he also studied the effectiveness of peer evaluation in the composition classroom; subsequently, he has for two decades used peer evaluation of student writing as a means to teach critical thinking and effective, reader-based writing.


His doctoral work at ISU prepared him well for the wide variety of assignments that he has had at a teaching-focused undergraduate institution.