James Séamus Blake

Title: English and Irish-Gaelic Educator (Retired); Professor Emeritus

Location: New York, New York, United States

James Séamus Blake, Retired English and Irish-Gaelic Educator and Professor Emeritus, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in language education.

As a child, Dr. Blake loved to read. He was always at the Main Library on 42nd Street in Manhattan, reading everything he could get his hands on. His family was Irish and they often spoke Gaelic, which familiarized Dr. Blake with the language and fostered a lifelong interest in the subject. Combining his interests in reading and foreign language, he earned a Bachelor of Arts from Manhattan College in 1962. Two years later, he acquired a master’s degree from New York University, which would later be followed by a Doctor of Philosophy from that institution. In 1964, Dr. Blake lived with an Irish-speaking family on Inis Mór on the Aran Islands off Galway. In 1969, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Trinity College and resided in Dublin for nearly two years further mastering the language.

In 1972, Dr. Blake commenced his career as a professor at Nassau Community College, part of the State University of New York. He remained in this role, going on to be promoted to full professor before also teaching as an adjunct at New York University in 1988. In addition to being an adjunct professor at the NYU College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Blake became an adjunct faculty member of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1991. He went on to teach Irish literature at the Glucksman Ireland House at NYU from 2003 until 2005, after earning the title of professor emeritus at Nassau Community College in 2001. Now retired, he credits much of his professional success to an abundance of intense research, teaching and dedication.

In 1989, Dr. Blake was awarded a National Endowment of the Humanities Grant to the University of Rochester in light of his study of W. B. Yeats, the poet. One year later, he was named a Research Scholar by the State University of New York, which was followed up by the Gaelic Broadcaster of the Year Award from the City University of New York in 2016. Also, Dr. Blake maintains active membership with numerous professional organizations. These include the Modern Language Association, the American Conference for Irish Studies, and the Celtic Studies Association of North America, among others. As a further testament to his success, Dr. Blake is featured in the fourth edition of Who’s Who in American Education and the 24th edition of Who’s Who in the East.

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