From the College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Dean John C. Allen

Dean John C. Allen

A Message from the Dean John C. Allen

Greetings from Beautiful Cache Valley!

The New Year is when we traditionally reflect on where we have been and where we are going. I am pleased to share with you some of the recent developments in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

In 2010, the College of Eastern Utah campuses merged with Utah State University to form USU Eastern. I am very excited about the assets this new partnership brings to our students and our faculty. In this issue you will read about how it enables us to create new models of engagement as well as to continue to reach out across the state supporting our Land Grant Mission.

A model for the future is the theme for this edition of Liberalis. In this issue we highlight the Native American Studies Certificate, a new interdisciplinary program launched in conjunction with our partners in the south. As you will read, this program has the ability to link faculty and students across the state and provide employment opportunities for those who live in the Four Corners area. I feel strongly about this program; it provides increased educational opportunities for everyone, including those who may be geographically isolated.

In addition to modeling collaborative teaching and learning across the state, you will find stories of alumni playing important roles in both the private and public sector. You will also read about Matthew LaPlante, a new assistant professor in our journalism and communication department, who is helping us raise the bar for the next generation of reporters whose future in journalism depends upon a strong entrepreneurial skillset.

The application of knowledge to real problems is a cornerstone of our teaching pedagogy. This is best exemplified in the article “The Memory Collectors” featuring Professor Jeannie Thomas, head of the English department. It chronicles her work helping students document the memories of individuals of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Their stories are now housed in the Library of Congress and proving useful to researchers across the country.

One of our goals in CHaSS is to provide opportunities for students to apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom in a real-world setting such as internships. This past year, through the support of the Stewart Family Endowment, we placed an intern—Anna Harris, ‘12—in Washington D.C. to serve as the face of the college. Part of her job will be to help establish other internships for USU students.

The truth is our students are outstanding organizers. This fall, they created a student giving campaign to benefit other students in the college. This spring they awarded one $500 scholarship to a student to help pay for books and other college expenditures. I couldn’t be more proud of the way they worked collectively to help other students meet the cost of a college education.

As you can see, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences continues to improve experiences for students, to hire the best scholar-teachers in the country, and foster an environment that stresses excellence with values. I sincerely believe that we are working with the leaders of tomorrow whose skills, approaches, and values will play a key role in solving many of the issues we struggle with today.

I hope you agree. If you have the capacity and the desire to support our efforts, we are honored to accept financial, mentoring, or similar support from our great alumni. If you are on campus, please stop by and share your stories of your time here or what you are doing now. Your stories enhance our community of students and alumni.


John C. Allen