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KNOXVILLE — A nationally known educator and popular character on public TV’s Sesame Street has been named a visiting professor at the University of Tennessee.

Dr. Loretta Long, who plays Nurse Susan on Sesame Street, will begin her professorship by visiting UT classes. Her appointment is for this spring and fall 2000.

“We are very fortunate to have Dr. Long on our campus,” said Dr. Robert Leiter, UT associate vice chancellor and dean of University Outreach and Continuing Education. “The university is always looking for ways to become engaged with communities. We are extremely excited about being able to arrange her visits with the elementary and middle school students who grew up with Sesame Street.”

The UT colleges of communications and education, and UT outreach and continuing education are sponsoring Long’s visiting professorship.

Her schedule includes reading stories to students in Blount and Knox county elementary schools, and discussing Black History Month with preschoolers, literacy with middle schoolers, and applied linguistics with UT students.

Long has been on Sesame Street for more than two decades and is widely recognized for her style of educating through entertaining. She also does consulting in the areas of media, cultural diversity, education, and literacy.

Long, who earned the doctorate in education at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, has held visiting professorships at East Stroudsburg University, State University of New York-Brockport, Western Michigan University and Massachusetts-Amherst.