From the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

A Forward Vision

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences welcomed three new department heads in 2013. Tammy Proctor joined the history department from Wittenberg University where she was the H.O. Hirt Endowed Professor of History. Proctor studies the social and cultural history of World War I. She introduced a position for a postdoctoral teaching fellow who specializes in the History of Science.

Thomas Terry, former chair of the department of mass communication at Idaho State University, took the helm of Utah State’s journalism and communication department. He has a diverse background in media from hosting a radio program to launching an online newspaper. Terry has generated a new level of student involvement by encouraging them to participate in internships.

Anthony Peacock, co-director of Utah State’s Project on Liberty and American Constitutionalism, was appointed head of the political science department. An expert in constitutional law, he is establishing the Center for the Study of American Constitutionalism, to create a greater public understanding of the U.S. Constitution. Dean Allen lauds the innovative energy these three leaders bring to the college. “They are raising the bar for both students and faculty,” he said. “Their vision moves us forward.”


New Senior Associate Dean

Dawn Kirby, a professor of English and English education, was hired as the college’s senior associate dean in January. She left an administrative post at Kennesaw State University to assist with all aspects of operation and management for CHaSS, including curriculum, awards and scholarships, and community and donor relations.


Celebrating Utah's Diverse Heritage

Each year, Utah State University recognizes individuals or organizations who further the principles and values of affirmative action, equal opportunity, and diversity. Bob McPherson, professor of history at USU Eastern, was named the 2013-14 USU Faculty Diversity Award recipient. He has built a reputation as an advocate for the preservation and dissemination of Native American history, artifacts, and culture. McPherson recently finished assisting a World War II Navajo code talker in writing his life story entitled Under the Eagle. He is partnering with STEM teacher Jared Berrett to develop an app on historical and cultural landmarks visible while driving between Bluff and Monument Valley.


Teaching Cultural Appreciation

The USU Museum of Anthropology was honored with the 2013-14 USU Community Member Diversity Award for promoting appreciation for the human experience to all people of Cache Valley. Through exhibits, special programming and partnerships, the museum teaches cultural differences and how these differences enrich the community and people’s lives. For instance, its monthly “First Family Saturdays” program highlights a different country each month where families come and enjoy food, arts, traditions, and cultures. More than 7,000 visitors from the community visit the museum each year.


A Good Neighbor

For the last four years, the Airforce ROTC’s 860th Cadet Wing has organized an annual 5k Braveheart Run to benefit a Cache Valley child with severe medical issues. “What it really amounts to is being a good neighbor and a benefit to the community,” said Lt. Col. Alex Dubovik. Proceeds from the race March 29, 2014 supported 5-year old Rustin Jones, who was diagnosed with cortical dysplasia just before his third birthday. The Braveheart Run has raised over $19,000 to date.


Bringing Literature to the World

In 2012, Charles Waugh, associate professor of English, was awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for his work in literary translation. The prize was designed to help scholars bring great literature to wider audiences and inspire a broader awareness of world cultures. Waugh’s project, New Voices from Vietnam, was to translate stories by contemporary Vietnamese writers whose fiction highlights the impact of globalization. He returned to Vietnam last spring while on sabbatical.