Five outstanding members of the Trinity University faculty have been honored for distinguished achievement in service, teaching, advising, or research. The awards were announced in early May by Deneese Jones, vice president of Academic Affairs.
Carlos Ardavín-Trabanco, professor of Spanish in the Modern Languages and Literatures Department, was recognized for outstanding scholarship, research, and creative work. Andrew Hansen, associate professor of human communication and theatre, was lauded for his commitment and dedication to student advising. In addition, Rob Huesca, professor of communication, received an award for distinguished professional, community, and University service.
Two early career faculty members – assistant professors Keesha Middlemass, political science, and Alfred Montoya, sociology and anthropology – were cited for distinguished teaching and research.
Ardavín-Trabanco has emerged as an international authority on topics such as post-war Spanish literature, the Spanish transition to democracy, the writings of Francisco Umbral, Spanish regional literatures, and Spanish Transatlantic studies. He has authored one monograph, edited five volumes of critical essays and a special issue, and co-edited four collections of criticism. In addition, he has published 23 peer-reviewed articles, as well as four refereed scholarly notes, nine book chapters, four books of collected essays, two compilations of literary interviews, and numerous book reviews. His edited volume of contemporary Asturian poetry received the Twelfth Alfredo Quirós Fernández Prize, one of the most competitive prizes for literary criticism in Asturias. One of his faculty colleagues praised the wide range of his scholarly interests as well as a willingness to share his expertise with others.
Hansen believes that the foundation of good advising is listening carefully to students as they talk about themselves, as they ponder their options, and as they try to find their way. Students consistently praise Hansen for his listening skills and describe him as a caring advocate whose interest in their lives does not end at graduation. According to one former advisee, Hansen “put up with me dropping by his office to discuss the nature of knowledge, success, happiness, beauty, and love, among other things. He would always turn my questions around on me, claiming to not know the answer himself. He pushed me to find my own path to the truth.” Another student, now pursuing his own Ph.D., consciously models his own interactions with students after Hansen.
Huesca has a long and varied record of service to the University, the community, and the profession. He served as faculty station manager or liaison for KRTU-FM from 2002 to 2012. As director of International Programs for six years, he supervised the International Studies major and minor, the Study Abroad program, and International Student and Scholar Services. A tireless advocate for global education, Huesca was a member of the University’s Internationalization subcommittee and is currently co-director of Languages Across the Curriculum. While on leave in 2012-13, Huesca volunteered at a school in Benin, Africa, where he designed a curriculum and taught a course in video montage for junior-high- and high-school-aged students, and he designed and co-taught a workshop for girls to produce 30-second news spots focusing on corporal punishment as part of a national awareness campaign.
Middlemass is a gifted teacher, a productive scholar, and a generous and respected colleague. She teaches core courses for the political science department and the urban studies program and is also a prominent contributor to the Food Matters First-Year Experience. In addition to her classroom teaching, Middlemass has mentored three undergraduate research students, all of whom have presented their work at national conferences. Her own research focuses on the politics of race, prisoner reentry, the criminal justice system, and public policies. Since arriving at Trinity, she has published four peer-reviewed articles and two peer-reviewed book chapters, has published four book reviews, and has two additional book chapters and three encyclopedia entries under review. Her forthcoming book, Convicted and Condemned: The Politics and Policies of Prisoner Reentry, will be published by New York University Press this June.
Montoya has been described as a “gifted and dedicated teacher who brings to bear state-of-the-art anthropological theory, empirical findings, and research methods.” He also has contributed to the HUMA program, developed his own First-Year Seminar on global food systems, and helped to design and teach the Social Justice First-Year Experience. Has was instrumental in the creation of the Global Health concentration within the International Studies minor and has led students to Nicaragua, to Vietnam, and to Poland. Montoya’s research addresses topics that include the public health efforts to contain the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Vietnam, the international trade in sea snakes, and the problematic use of digital images in humanitarian campaigns by non-governmental organizations. He has published five peer-reviewed articles or book chapters and has one more forthcoming, and he has given more than 30 scholarly presentations or invited lectures.