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

Dean John C. Allen

A Message from the Dean John C. Allen


As I write, finals are concluding on campus and both faculty and students are looking forward to a short break before returning to classes and research. In this issue of Liberalis, you will see a college on the move. In the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, we work every day to provide the highest quality education for our students, both inside and outside the classroom. In addition, the research and other works generated by CHaSS scholars continue to meaningfully address the issues facing society today as well as those looming in the future. We are very proud to play a core role in the education of all Utah State University students.

This issue highlights one of our graduates, Dr. Mehdi Heravi, as an example of the kind of impact a CHaSS education has on the lives of our students. He was an active USU student who grew into an exceptional academic and university administrator. His many and varied experiences eventually led him to the life of philanthropy he now leads.

Dr. Heravi’s generous support of our college is very humbling to me and will deeply impact CHaSS for decades to come. His story models the values of our faculty and students.

This edition of Liberalis also introduces several new CHaSS assistant professors recently added to the outstanding faculty already working in our college. We are truly hiring some of the very best scholar-teachers in the nation. Their enthusiasm and dedication are infectious as they bring new teaching pedagogies and areas of scholarship along with ways to link scholarship and teaching to best prepare future leaders. Although many other universities sought their knowledge and skills, our new faculty members selected USU and CHaSS because we value the balance between high quality teaching and research. These scholars are our future and, with their growing leadership capacity, we have a very bright future indeed.

Because the world is now globally connected, CHaSS is expanding areas of research and teaching to include a curriculum that explores both international and domestic issues. I sincerely believe that interdisciplinary work will solve many world problems. Therefore, we recently launched an international student-centered research, education, and service initiative that creates teams of faculty and students who will go abroad to study, conduct research, and engage in humanitarian efforts.

While CHaSS has expanded its global reach and influence, we also maintain a solid grounding in the western United States. An example of scholarship focusing on the West is this edition’s article “Rocks of Ages.” This piece highlights the work of Professor Steven Simms (archeology) and his collaborator Professor Joel Pederson (geology) whose research helps modern people understand how societies adapt and change over time.

Our students also continue to have great opportunities as a result of generous support from donors. CHaSS development priorities are:

  • - Student scholarships
  • - Student opportunities
  • - Student facilities

I invite you to join us in supporting one or more of these three priorities as we continue to provide new opportunities for our students. No gift is too small, and your donation will provide life-changing experiences for our deserving students.

This is an exciting time for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. We are adapting to changing student and employer demands while continuing to provide an educational foundation that will last a lifetime. Our faculty members are dedicated, our students energetic and eager to learn, and our alumni continually supportive of the CHaSS vision and the work we do here at USU. The College of Humanities and Social Sciences is a very special place to work and learn, and I believe strongly it is on par with the greatest institutions in the country.

Thank you for your support. I wish you the very best in 2015.

John C. Allen, Dean