The Nye Outstanding Faculty Award is presented to one faculty member each year. Award winners are selected by the Honors Student Advisory Board from among current Honors faculty and are chosen based on Honors student experience inside and outside of class. The award is presented at the spring Nye Graduation Banquet, made possible by the generous support of the Ralph Nye Charitable Foundation.
Current and Past Award Winners
Christy Call, Honors/English
Christy Call’s research has centered in the intersections of three fields: English, environmental humanities, and pedagogy. She has combined these three areas to reposition an understanding of the human in the field of the Humanities. She explains, “Such a framework reformats human life from a point of vertical rank or primacy to points of interaction and interrelation with varied other life and material forms.”
She is currently working on her Ph.D. from the University of Utah. Her dissertation is on Cormac McCarthy’s Border Trilogy. Christy believes that, “McCarthy radically repositions the human protagonists of his Western novels to within ecological fields - not above or apart from these interrelated spaces. While McCarthy is not a moralizing writer, his vantage on human existence compels ethical considerations that are strenuous in terms of all that the reader must admit into value or significance.” It is her position that this literary view has profound relevance for us in an age of climate change.
Christy has taught three Honors courses on identity studies. In the fall of 2012, she was award the Honors Eccles Fellowship and taught a class that incorporated critical animal studies, new materialisms, and ethics research. She will co-teach a course this fall with Dr. Sue Harley in Botany. This course connects the study of science and literature to understand how we come to know or make claims of knowledge about the world. In the spring of 2015, she will teach an Honors course on Great Texts in the Humanities.
Christy is a superb example of an educator in the 21st century. She strives everyday to provide her students the opportunity to challenge their pre-conceived ideas and understandings of a topic and to explore that topic from new and sometimes unexpected ways. She does not bring any agenda to the discussion table other than to create an atmosphere where students deliberate, dissect, and demonstrate various points of view on the subject at hand. Christy gives each student the opportunity to express themselves in their own unique way; she does not simply require all students to write a standard term paper to demonstrate their understanding of course materials, but invites and encourages students to use a variety of mediums (including film, painting, poetry, and music among others) in order to connect their own interests or ideas to the group discussion. As a result of her methods, Christy has instilled in her students a desire to truly be lifelong learners, and has given her students the tools to do so. In all of these ways and many more, Christy has enlivened and enriched the college experience of many of Weber State’s Honors students, myself included.
It is a privilege to call Christy Call a friend and my honor to present her as the 2014 Outstanding Nye Honors Professor.
--Introduction by Daniel Simmons, 2014 HSAB President