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College of Humanities & Social Sciences Recognizes Innovators & Risk-Takers

Thursday, Apr. 11, 2013

USU faculty member Karin deJonge-Kannan

Karin deJonge-Kannan received the 2013 Ed Glatfelter Faculty Service Award in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

USU faculty member and Department Head Ted Pease

Ted Pease, professor and head of the Department of Journalism and Communication since 1994, was honored for his leadership.

USU professor of English Joyce Kinkead

Joyce Kinkead, professor of English, was named the college's 2013 Researcher of the Year.

USU English professor Patricia Gantt

English professor Patricia Gantt was honored as the college's Teacher of the Year.

USU faculty member Matthew Sanders

Established by the college in 2011, the Giraffe Award rewards faculty and staff who aren't afraid to take risks to improve education. Matthew Sanders, assistant professor of communication studies, is the 2013 recipient.

Risk-takers and innovators were honored during the College of Humanities and Social Sciences annual awards ceremony April 9 at Utah State University. The event recognizes faculty, students and alumni who contribute to the mission of the college, the university and the community at large.

A-Pins, one of the oldest university awards given for earning straight A grades for consecutive semesters, were awarded to 23 students. Each department in the college also honored students who represent exceptional achievement in their majors. A theme of service emerged throughout the ceremony as recipients took the stage for their efforts to improve the conditions of others through commerce, instruction and action.

Alumni accolades

Alumni Sally Sears and Randy Wirth were among the alumni highlighted as 2013 Friends of CHaSS for their work at the university and around the world. In 1976, the couple opened a natural health food store in Logan called The Straw Ibis Herb and Grain Company and became early pioneers of the organic and fair trade coffee movements. Their business is the world’s only roasting company that focuses on triple certified — organic, fair trade and Smithsonian shade grown and bird friendly coffee.

“They’ve carried the values of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences forward and embedded them in a market economy,” Dean John C. Allen said.

Hardy Redd, ’61, and his wife, Sunny — ranchers with a passion for Utah history — were also cited for their generosity and service. Hardy served on the USU Board of Trustees and the Dean’s Council for CHaSS. He and his siblings endowed the first chair in religious studies at USU known as the Redd Chair.


In 2011, the Ed Glatfelter Faculty Service Award was created to honor faculty who go the extra mile to assist programs and initiatives in the college and off campus. The award is named for Ed Glatfelter, professor of history and former associate dean, who has been a tireless advocate the past 40 years for the students and faculty of CHaSS. Karin deJonge-Kannan, a senior lecturer of linguistics and co-director of the Master of Second Language Teaching program, was the 2013 recipient.

DeJonge-Kannan recently coauthored several grants that brought dozens of international teachers and students to teach and learn at USU. These opportunities benefit both the USU and global community. This year, the Department of Languages, Philosophy and Communication Studies was awarded two international foreign language teaching assistants through the Fulbright program, which deJonge-Kannan spearheaded.

“She is the personification of service and it is hard for me to imagine anyone more fully committed to service and supporting others in their efforts to create a better world,” her nomination letter read.

Ted Pease, professor and head of the Department of Journalism and Communication since 1994, will step down this summer from his post. He was honored for his leadership over the years and efforts to improve opportunities for students. Pease wrote for the Associated Press and served as a Pulitzer Prize juror. He co-edited four books on mass media and continues to publish columns, editorials and articles in newspapers.


Joyce Kinkead, professor of English, was named the college’s 2013 Researcher of the Year. The award honors the individual who has made the greatest impact in research or scholarship in the previous three years. Kinkead was hard to match. Since 2010, she has published three books and become the first humanist recognized as a Fellow by the Council on Undergraduate Research. She is currently at work on her next book, Research Methods for Writing Studies.

“Until Professor Kinkead’s work, the sciences and related fields dominated the research concerning undergraduate studies; Dr. Kinkead shattered that model,” her nomination letter read. “Through her research and dedication, she has demonstrated to the field the importance of humanities.”

Junior Taylor Halversen, a communications studies major, received the college’s Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher award. Since her freshman year, she has worked to improve the student experience at Utah State University. In November, Halversen was the only student chosen to represent USU at the TEDx presentation event where she spoke of the power of student potential.


English professor Patricia Gantt, associate dean for the college, has taught in many different settings and in different capacities over the course of her career in education. She taught high school and served as a community college instructor and K-12 language specialist for public schools before joining the faculty at USU in 1999. Many of her former students have become teachers themselves. In addition to her commitment to teaching, Gantt is a prolific scholar. Her most recent book, Appalachia in the Classroom: Teaching the Region will be published this spring. In addition to being recognized as the 2013 Teacher of the Year, Gantt will deliver a talk at graduation May 4.

Anna Guadarrama, a double major in Spanish and International Studies, is the college’s valedictorian. She too, will be honored during graduation ceremonies. She has presented research at undergraduate conferences, including the Research on the Hill this spring, and will travel on a coveted Student Fulbright to teach in Mexico. Guadarrama is the Student of the Year in both Spanish and International Studies.

“Designation as the college valedictorian is not only a measure of academic achievement, but of notable leadership and the promise of outstanding contributions in the coming years,” Dean Allen said.

Giraffe Award

Dean Allen also established the Giraffe Award in 2011 to reward faculty and staff who aren’t afraid to take risks to improve education — even though it means potentially failing in this endeavor. The award honors those who stick their necks out in order to make a difference.

Matthew Sanders, assistant professor of communication studies, was selected because instead of working to publish an article in a peer reviewed journal — an effort that assists faculty members receive tenure — he devoted much time writing a book,  Becoming a Learner, for a student audience. The aim of the book is to help students become better learners in college and beyond. It will be given this summer to incoming freshman at USU. The book will not help Sanders receive tenure.

“His book will impact thousands and thousands of students,” Dean Allen said. “He took an unprecedented risk in my opinion. I have never seen anyone take a risk like this.”

Professor Sanders was also the recipient of this year’s Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year award, which is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President to recognize faculty members who donate extra time to encourage and facilitate the work of innovative undergraduates. He was selected because he helps students develop their own scholarly identities by providing opportunities to grow and stretch themselves beyond what is found in the typical classroom. A number of his students have presented their work at the annual Research on the Hill symposium in Salt Lake City.

CHaSS Award recipients

Teacher of the Year

Patricia Gantt, professor of English

Researcher of the Year

Joyce Kinkead, professor of English

Faculty Undergraduate Advisor of the Year

Ryan Moeller, associate professor of English

Lecturer of the Year

Dustin Crawford, lecturer of English

Outstanding Employee (Classified)

Margaret Garr, Intensive English Language Institute

Outstanding Employee (Professional)

Susan Parkinson, CHaSS Advising Center

Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher

Taylor Halversen, ’14, communications studies major

Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor

Matthew Sanders, assistant professor communication studies

Graduate Instructor of the Year

Diantha Smith, English department

Graduate Researcher of the Year

Paul Jacobs, Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology

CHaSS International Professor of the Year

Christy Glass, associate professor of sociology

Legacy Award

Kasondra Payne, ’13, Department of English

Scholar of the Year and 2013 College Valedictorian

Anna Guadarrama ‘13

Related link:

USU College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Writer: Kristen Munson, (435) 797-0267;

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