Nye Outstanding Faculty Award


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


Dr. Susan Hafen, Communication

Dr. Susan Hafen (Ph.D., Ohio University, 1995) is a Full Professor in the Communication Department at Weber State University since 2003, where she has taught communication theory, organizational communication, interpersonal and small group communication, interviewing, small group facilitation, and the senior research seminar.  Besides teaching in the undergraduate and graduate programs, she is the department Internship Coordinator.  Previously she taught at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (1995-2003).  She has published eclectically on topics such as workplace gossip, diversity training, lesbian identities, critical pedagogy, organizational shame and guilt, human-animal communication, and Girl Scout rhetoric. 

Prior to her academic career, Dr. Hafen worked in the business world for a dozen years as a trainer and human resource manager.  She was on the start-up team for Kimberly Clark’s diaper plant in Utah and Mobil Oil’s first coal mine in Wyoming, and she worked at Potomac Electric Power Company in Washington, D.C. 

R.C. Callahan, Instructional and Institutional Effectiveness

RC Callahan is an Instructional Designer and Training Specialist for the WSU Center for Instructional and Institutional Effectiveness. He has 20+ years of work experience in the fields of higher education, business management, hospitality and travel, and human resources. RC completed his Masters of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 2011. His thesis project studied the effects of the coming out process on academic experience among lesbian, gay, and bisexual university students in Northern Utah. More recently, RC co-authored a research paper entitled, Assessing the efficacy of reusable learning objects in an online introduction to education course, that was presented at an international education conference in Antalya, Turkey.

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

No award given

Dr. Ryan Thomas, Associate Provost/Dean of Undergraduate Studies

Dr. John Armstrong, Physics

Dr. Michele Skopec, Zoology

Dr. Dan Bedford, Geography