From the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Campus Notes

Translating New Voices from Vietnam

Charles Waugh, associate professor of English, received one of 16 prized fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in July for his project New Voices from Vietnam. The $12,500 grants help scholars translate classical and contemporary texts from around the world. Waugh’s project is a collaboration with Vietnamese scholar Nguyen Lien to translate stories by contemporary Vietnamese writers whose work highlights the impact of globalization on the culture. The aim is to show Americans that Vietnam is more than a war-ravaged country dotted with rice paddies, but one where skyscrapers, golf courses and mobile phones, studio apartments and Pottery Barn abound. “This collection seeks to remedy that outdated sense of Vietnam,” he said. Receiving the NEA grant has validated Waugh’s passion. “It’s nice to feel like there is this recognition beyond my own that this work needs to be done.”

Political Science Honors Club Recognized

For the ninth time under professor William Furlong’s leadership, the National Political Science Honor Society Pi Sigma Alpha has awarded a Best Chapter Award to Utah State’s Alpha Iota chapter for its high level of creativity and energy. Professor Furlong received a commendation by the organization for his extraordinary dedication to the students of the chapter. The group’s goal for the 2011-2012 year was to give back to the global community through service. Students in the Alpha Iota chapter fundraised for Heifer International and purchased two llamas for a family in South America. They partnered with the university’s Institute of Government and Politics to inform students of internship opportunities and participated in the annual Stuff-A-Bus drive to benefit a local food pantry.

ROTC Cadets Take Second at Ranger 2012 Challenge

Cadets from Utah State’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Jim Bridger Detachment placed second out of 22 teams at the regional Ranger Challenge competition at Camp Williams in October. Ranger Challenges are considered one of the most prestigious events for cadets in the ROTC and the 15-hour tournament is designed to test leadership and critical thinking skills, physical and mental endurance, and Army knowledge. The competition required cadets to complete a 6-mile road march, land navigation and field leadership courses, first aid test, a medical evacuation request simulation, weapons disassembly and reassembly with functions check, and cross the crisp waters of the Jordan River, among others. Students learned from the experience. “Ranger challenge has reinforced to me what every person and especially student should know,” said Caleb Rose. “The dedication, work, and time that are put towards a goal will eventually be paid back in some form. Most of the rewards are not witnessed by nor held in esteem by the public, but are taken and used by the individual.”

History Professors Receive NEH Support

History professors Colleen O’Neill and Mark L. Damen were awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities this summer. O’Neill received funding to further a book project about the history of American Indian workers in the United States called Labor and Sovereignty: The Transformation of Wage Work in Indian Country, 1890-1990. The grant will finance research trips to California and Arizona for her to collect oral histories with tribal officials, union members, and American Indian workers who migrated from reservations to urban areas to work in the 1950s. Damen was selected to participate in the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute “Roman Comedy in Performance” at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The 2012 NEH Summer Scholars program brought together leading experts in the field to practice scholarship through performance.

JCOM Students Participate in Counterterrorism Simulation

On Halloween more than 50 students participated in a crisis simulation conducted by the Department of Journalism and Communication. Faculty members across the university volunteered for the learning exercise. Assistant professor Matthew LaPlante developed the 7-hour activity after advising a counterterrorism simulation run by the S.J. Quinney School of Law at the University of Utah. Students act in professional communication roles in the midst of a developing crisis with local and agricultural implications. The idea is to test their ability to work under pressure and apply skills in news judgment, resource allocation, ethics, and teamwork. “You can take all the journalism classes you want, but unless you experience drinking from the fire hose like this where you have three phones ringing, someone else on the line and you’re trying to keep names straight while writing story, you don’t really know what it’s like,” said senior Daniel Whitney Smith.

Patricia Lambert Named a 2012 AAAs Fellow

Anthropology professor Patricia Lambert, associate dean of research for the college, studies health and violence in prehistoric American populations through the analysis of human remains from archaeological sites. Her work has been covered on the Discovery and National Geographic channels and published in journals, including Nature. In November, she and Lance Seefeldt, a professor of chemistry at Utah State, were elected Fellows in the American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellows. The designation “is a distinct honor reserved for the nation’s top scientists,” said President Stan Albrecht. “It’s not only an honor for these two professors to be recognized for outstanding contributions in their respective fields, but also for Utah State University.” Lambert was honored for her contributions to physical anthropology and professional service in the ethics and application of repatriation law.