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

Dean John C. Allen

A Message from the Dean John C. Allen

July is a time when we reflect on the end of another academic year here on campus. And it has been a very good year. As I stood on the stage at graduation and shook hands with about 400 students from our college, I could not be more proud of their accomplishments and of our faculty. One student was heading to South America to join the Peace Corps, another was off to work in the National Football League, and several more were moving on to positions with state agencies in Utah and New Mexico. I was actually a little jealous of them as they headed out into the world to make their mark.

At the end of the day, that is what the College of Humanities and Social Sciences aims to do: make a difference. In this edition of Liberalis you will read about innovators and game-changers in the college. Our cover story “A place for history” describes the ongoing efforts of Domingos Muala, a graduate student in history, to gather the voices of local people in and around Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. His work is supported by environmental history professor Chris Conte and alum Greg Carr, who has partnered with the Mozambican government to rehabilitate the country’s flagship national park after it was ravaged during the civil war. The effort to salvage the voices of local people and endemic wildlife in the region is truly inspiring.

Other stories I am excited to share with you are about our undergraduate students. For example, you will read about Briana Bowen, who was named a Truman Scholar this spring. She is the first female Truman Scholar from Utah State University and her dream to work in policy and specifically, health policy, illustrates the high ambitions of our students. I have worked with Briana on various university committees and she exemplifies the quality and commitment of our students.

Another student highlighted is junior Taylor Halversen. She was the sole student speaker at the university’s TEDx conference in November and spoke of her conversion in learning. After participating in an experimental design studio course her freshman year, the university is the beneficiary of her insights. Through hands on learning by Taylor and her peers in the class, future students at Utah State will have a more streamlined experience navigating the university and connecting with their classmates.

In this issue you will also meet some faculty in our college who strive to improve their classrooms and the world beyond. In the story “What the dead can tell us” you will have a chance to meet Patricia Lambert, associate dean and professor of anthropology, who was selected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is one of three current faculty members at Utah State who hold this esteemed position. Her work on warfare studies is internationally recognized and we are very fortunate to have Patricia as a leader in our college.

The story “Rethinking higher education” features three faculty members, including Bonnie Glass-Coffin, Harrison Kleiner, and Matt Sanders, who are evaluating teaching and learning styles to help all of us be better educators. Their ideas continue to make our college a place for students to learn and grow. Another innovator on our faculty is Jeannie Johnson, assistant professor of political science, who has devised a new methodology to help U.S. intelligence agencies do a better job understanding conflicts around the world by incorporating culture into intelligence analysis.

These are just snapshots of some of the individuals in our college whose work deserves spotlighting. In the year ahead we will continue to focus on supporting people in our college. Last year, we were able to provide more than 340 students with scholarships because of the support of our alumni, faculty, and even other students. Some videos of our scholarship recipients describing how financial support has made a difference in their lives have been placed on our website

I hope you enjoy viewing them. Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you when you are on campus.

John C. Allen, Dean