Mar 30, 2017
Since 1964, Humboldt State has honored outstanding faculty. Professor Stephen Cunha, Department of Geography, and Melinda Myers, Department of Psychology, are the recipients of the 2016-17 Distinguished Faculty Awards.
Professor Stephen Cunha, Department of Geography, Outstanding Professor Award recipient, uses his passion for geography to help students analyze the challenges to sustaining Earth’s vastly diverse natural and human systems. His rousing lectures in demanding introductory and senior-level courses incorporate photographs, blowguns, glacial flour, and myriad other elements from far away lands. His scholarship and creative works empower teachers at every level. A former student writes, “Your pictures and narrative changed my perception of human beings and turned me into a compassionate person.” UC Davis Professor Jack Ives states, “I think the most effective way to categorize Stephen‘s remarkable and many sided career is for me to designate him as the latter day successor to Alexander von Humboldt himself. I know of no single person who can claim so many aspects of teaching, research, advising, contribution to environmental issues, support of minority mountain peoples, and the progress of society at large. The breadth and depth of his contributions is inspiring.”
Melinda Myers, Department of Psychology, Excellence in Teaching Award recipient, is recognized as a leading teacher in the field of psychology by faculty, students, and the broader community. Melinda is known for her rigor and accessibility that she has offered through her courses for more than 20 years. As a third generation HSU graduate, she reaches students in unique ways and is well known for her ability to convey critical thinking skills, especially among first generation and underrepresented minority students. Throughout her career, Melinda has consistently received outstanding evaluations from her students and is frequently sought out by new faculty as a mentor. Melinda is eager to collaborate on interdisciplinary projects and was a major collaborator in establishing HSU’s Critical Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies program and the Queer Studies minor. Among Melinda’s many achievements has been reducing the achievement gap for underrepresented students in Intro to Psychology, which has an enrollment of up to 200 students at a time.
Stephen and Melinda—along with this year’s Outstanding Students, and the recipients of the Distinguished Alumni and Staff Recognition awards—will be honored at the annual Honors Dinner on April 21.
Stephen and Melinda will also deliver special lectures as part of the Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series during the 2017-18 academic year. Please watch for announcements for those events.
More information about the awards, including lists of past recipients, is at humboldt.edu/aavp/FacultyAwards.