Martin Buinicki, associate professor of English at Valparaiso University, has been named the new Walter G. Friedrich Professor of American Literature.

“Professor Buinicki has been an energetic and dedicated teacher at every level,” said Edward Uehling, professor of English at Valpo. “He has taught general education courses with the same care as he does his senior seminars, directed an excellent senior honors project, and has mentored a number of students preparing for graduate programs.”

Uehling said Buinicki’s most innovative course has been Traditions of Giving and Serving in America, in which students read key philanthropic texts and then apply that knowledge to real-life problems. Buinicki has secured an annual grant of $10,000 from a not-for-profit organization, enabling his class to review grant proposals from local agencies in need, and then award the grant to the most deserving group.

Buinicki received his doctorate degree from the University of Iowa in 2003 and joined Valpo’s faculty in 2004. An active and productive scholar, he has twice received a University Research Professorship. His most recent book, “Walt Whitman’s Reconstruction: Poetry and Publishing between Memory and History,” is currently in press at the University of Iowa Press.

The current holder of the Friedrich Professorship, Professor John Feaster, will be retiring from a distinguished career in June.

Valpo’s Friedrich Professorship Committee, which includes members of the University’s Department of English, selects the recipient from the ranks of the tenured faculty in the field of American literature.

More information about Valpo’s Department of English is available at