Ellen Miller Casey

Dr. Ellen Miller Casey began working with the University of Scranton faculty as an assistant professor in 1969. She then served as director of the University’s Honors Program in 1977 until her retirement in 2009. Dr. Ellen Miller Casey got her job at Scranton when her husband, Stephen J. Casey, had an interview. She had written to all the schools in the immediate area saying that her husband had an interview, and if they needed someone to teach Victorian Literature, she would go for an interview. Conveniently, the University of Scranton had an opening for Victorian Literature. When Ellen was asked what her biggest challenge was during her time working, she answered, “Well, my biggest challenge certainly in the early days was being the only woman in the room…and I mean that literally. There were when we were hired…there were librarians with faculty status but there were no teaching faculty. And they hired three women the year that I was hired. The following year one of them left, and the year after that the second one left. So, my third year here I was the only woman teaching faculty......And some of my colleagues were wonderful and some of my colleagues were less than wonderful about that.” Ellen was also underpaid when she began to work for the University of Scranton.

When she began working in 1969, both the Evening College and the Graduate School were co-ed. However, the Undergraduate Day School was all men. When she arrived, it was an all-male school with an all-male teaching faculty. It was a choice deliberately made to hire women in the teaching faculty. The University then chose to switch the University to co-education, which it did in 1972. A man named Steve Ryan, who was Chair of the English Department when Ellen was hired, told Ellen that she had been hired because he thought it was a good idea for the men on campus to know that there were such things as intelligent women.

While at the University of Scranton, Dr. Ellen Miller Casey received several honors and awards. These included the Alumni Society Frank O’Hara Award for University Service, the Merit Award for Service, and the John L. Earl III Distinguished Service Award. She was named National Endowment for the Humanities Younger Humanist Fellow and the Danforth Associate.

Dr. Ellen Miller Casey earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Loyola University, Chicago, a Master of Arts from the University of Iowa, and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.