Transformative Teaching Award

Kim Hackford-Peer

Associate Chair, Gender Studies

Dr. Kim Hackford-Peer, associate chair for Gender Studies, is the inaugural recipient of the School for Cultural and Social Transformation’s Transformative Teaching Award. The award recognizes faculty who exhibit excellence in teaching through the use of innovative and transformative pedagogical approaches; inspire critical and creative thinking skills; promote a classroom climate that supports diverse opinions; engages and sustains relationships with students beyond the classroom experience; and applies classroom concepts to real world scenarios, specifically as related to challenging inequality, and advocating for justice.

Dr. Hackford-Peer was presented with this recognition during the School’s convocation ceremony on May 5, 2021.

“This nomination is a long overdue recognition of Dr. KHP’s extraordinary contributions to student experiences in Transform,” says Dr. Wanda Pillow, chair of the Gender Studies division. “Overall, it is crucial to highlight that Kim is not only supportive of and responsive to the needs of a diverse student body, Kim fosters a diverse student body. This work often occurs ‘behind the scene’ and Transform faculty may not be aware that Kim has been and is a primary reason for the richness of student diversity in Transform.”

Dr. Marie Sarita Gayta, chair of the selection committee, says “Dr. Kim Hackford-Peer is a gifted feminist educator who provides transformative teaching experiences to students by developing innovative courses that link theory with real-world applications, by supporting learning environments that include the mentorship of career line faculty and graduate teaching assistants, and by fostering sustained networks that promote undergraduate pathways into Gender and Ethnic Studies.”

Dr. Hackford-Peer skillfully creates and support learning environments for all students, whether in a Business School Gender Studies or a Queer representations course. Indeed, Dr. Hackford-Peer’s popular course “Medusa & Manifestos” is an example of Dr. Hackford-Peer’s student-centered teaching. The course focuses on the development of the process for critical and self-reflective writing as a tool for putting ideas out into the world, by analyzing the ways that socio-historical context and power have an impact on their own social justice work.

Beyond the classroom, “Dr. Hackford-Peer’s generosity is not lost on her colleagues who frequently remark about her ability to provide sound advice on issues ranging from improving online class engagement, designing community-based group projects, or helping connect students to effective campus resources. They also note that she is an unwavering champion for the rights and success of LGBTQI, Disabled, Undocumented, Low-income, and/or, BIPOC students across the University,” says Dr. Gaytan.

The Committee, and the School for Cultural and Social Transformation are honored to recognize Dr. Kim Hackford-Peer as the inaugural recipient of the Transformative Teaching Award.

Graduate School Distinguished Mentor

Wanda Pillow

Professor and Chair, Gender Studies

Dr. Wanda S. Pillow, Gender Studies professor and chair, is one of the 2021 Distinguished Mentor Award recipients, honored by the University of Utah’s Graduate School. The award honors the considerable efforts and accomplishments of faculty who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to the mentorship of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. In addition, the award recognizes faculty who provide intellectual leadership and model a record of excellence in research and ensures that students master the content and skills of their discipline. make a broad impact on mentorship by facilitating communities or building infrastructure for mentorship of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.

Dr. Pillow “is an artist in the realm of mentor thoughtfulness,” says Dr. Kathryn Stockton, Dean of the School for Cultural and Social Transformation. She “is something of an oracle” on the topics of methodology and intersectionality. Her students know and absorb this, and as they pursue their own scholarship, become Dr. Pillow’s intellectual friends.

Dr. Stockton adds: “I’ve seen Wanda’s thoughtful care—her creative inspiration of student thought—up close and personal. I’ve been on committees that Wanda has chaired. She makes us joyous in supporting her students. And teaches us the highest value to embrace: research as relationship.”

Distinguished Scholarly and Creative Research Award

William Smith

Professor, Ethnic Studies & Education, Culture & Society

The Distinguished Research Award (DRA) recognizes outstanding achievements in research by University of Utah tenured faculty. Up to three awards for outstanding achievements in scholarly or creative research are awarded to University of Utah tenured faculty each year. Nominees are evaluated on the impact and significance of their career research or scholarly work to their field, as well as to the improvement and enrichment of the human condition.

“Dr. Smith has honed a wealth of Ethnic Studies and Education expertise. Racial Battle Fatigue, Black Males Studies, Multi-cultural/ethnic Issues in Higher Education, Multi-cultural Counseling, Racial Identity Development, and Student Transition and Persistence. William nails relevance,” says Dr. Stockton, Dean for the School of Cultural and Social Transformation.

This award recognizes Dr. Smith’s pathbreaking work on racial battle fatigue, along with his other scholarly endeavors and comes with a $10,000 grant to further pursue his research interests.

2020-21 Presidential Leadership Fellows

The university launched the Presidential Leadership Fellows Program in 2017, with the first fellow named the following year. The program’s goal is to foster talented, emerging leaders with administrative potential. Fellows engage in the activities and work of the Office of the President and with the President’s Cabinet, with emphasis on their chosen area of interest, over the course of one academic year.

For the 2020-2021 academic year, two of the four selected fellows were School for Cultural and Social Transformation faculty:

Annie Fukushima

Assistant Professor, Ethnic Studies

Maile Arvin

Assistant Professor, Gender Studies and History

2020-21 Faculty Teaching Award for Innovation in General Education

Ana Antunes

Assistant Professor (Lecturer), Gender Studies

The Teaching Award for Innovation in General Education recognizes innovative approaches to general education. This year, the committee was most impressed by Dr. Antunes’ commitment to weaving community engaged learning, critical social justice and individualized attention in each of the General Education courses that she teaches. “This kind of integrated, applied, and student facing relevance is exactly the kind of pedagogical experiences that we hope all students will have in their General Education courses,” said Ann Darling, AVP for Undergraduate Studies.

Best Dissertation Prize from The American Political Science Association- Race, Ethnicity and Politics Section

David De Micheli

Assistant Professor, Ethnic Studies and Political Science

Dr. David De Micheli was recognized for his dissertation titled “Back to Black: Racial Reclassification and Political Identity Formation in Brazil.”

Each year, the award recognizes a dissertation that makes an important theoretical contribution to our understanding of historical and/or contemporary processes of racial and ethnic information. In addition, the dissertation addresses critical substantive issues through which racial and ethnic politics are played out.

Irving K. Zola Emerging Scholar Award in Disability Studies

Lezlie Frye

Assistant Professor, Gender Studies and Disability Studies

Dr. Lezlie Frye was one of two winners of the 2020 Irving K. Zola Award for Emerging Scholars in Disability Studies, offered by the Society for Disability Studies. She has won the honor designated for junior scholars, specifically for her essay, “Cripping the ‘Crack Baby’ Epidemic: A Feminist Genealogy,” which was unanimously voted as “best paper” by the Society.

Dr. Frye is also a the recipients of the coveted University of Utah Faculty Fellow Award (2021).

2021 Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS) Book Awards

Maile Arvin

Assistant Professor, Gender Studies and History

Each year, the AAAS recognizes authors and contributors in its Book Awards for titles of merit. Dr. Arvin’s “Possessing Polynesians” won honorable mention in the history category.

Gay/Lesbian/Queer Caucus of the Modern Language Association, Alan Bray Memorial Prize

Darius Bost

Associate Professor, Ethnic Studies

Named in honor of a scholar whose two landmark books have been profoundly influential in gay and lesbian studies, the Bray Award will be given to the best book in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer studies in literature and cultural studies, all broadly construed. Dr. Bost was presented with an honorable mention for the 2020 Bray Memorial Prize for his award-winning treatise Evidence of Being: The Black Gay Cultural Renaissance and the Politics of Violence.

NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising, Outstanding Advising Award Certificate of Merit

Jen Wozab

Student Success Coordinator & Advisor

The annual NACADA Outstanding Advising Awards recognize individuals who have demonstrated qualities associated with outstanding academic advising of students or outstanding academic advising administration. As the U’s 2020 Outstanding Experienced Advisor awardee, Jen Wozab was the University of Utah’s nominee for this international recognition. Jen will be recognized at the NACADA 2021 conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.

2021 Outstanding Undergraduate Research Awards

The Outstanding Undergraduate Research awards recognize students who demonstrate a record of sustained commitment to developing research skills and knowledge under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Furthermore, awardees are those who make positive contributions to the research culture of their Department, College, and the University as a whole. We are incredibly proud of our 2021 awardees:

Angela Pham
Gender Studies Major, Psychology Major and Ethnic Studies Minor

Cloe Butler
Gender Studies Major, and Health, Society & Policy Major

Cloe Butler was also selected for the 2021 Monson Prize based on her work “Identity: By Kids, For Kids – A student-centered Zine”, with faculty mentor Ana Antunes. Through this program, Charles H. Monson’s family recognizes an undergraduate student whose research is devoted to the subject of social change.