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Institute for Advancing American Values announces faculty research awardees

The Institute for Advancing American Values named its 2023 faculty research award recipients. Anne Hamby, Lisa McClain, Sophia Borgias and the Symposium for Civic and History Education were awarded funds by the institute.

Anne Hamby, Assistant Professor, Department of Marketing

“Abundant research examines self-branding, often in the context of celebrities and influencers, who may have professional self-presentation assistance. Little is known about how everyday people approach self-branding and communicate their personal values, particularly in terms of how people develop their personal brand story. The proposed work will examine how people decide what constitutes their personal brand, and what brand stories to tell. Do they originate from broader cultural narratives, and display consistent themes? This work will be conducted with Boise State MBA students, who will identify their personal values and develop a story that illustrates their corresponding personal brand.”

Lisa McClain, Professor of History and Gender Studies, Department of History

“Gender, sexuality, and religion all shape society, but we often presume them to be in opposition. This research investigates LGBTQ+ history in Idaho, particularly at the intersections of LGBTQ+ experience and Christianity. My expertise in Gender Studies and the history of Christianity allows me to give an expert voice to LGBTQ+ experience and religious debates and issues surrounding LGBTQ+ individuals’ contested presence, silence, activism, marginalization, and opportunities in the heavily Christian intermountain West with sensitivity to all sides. Through oral histories, interviews, and archival research into LGBTQ+ and church archives from throughout Idaho, I’m uncovering the experiences of LGBTQ+ Christians who have shaped Idaho’s growth and development which, heretofore, have remained largely invisible. Considering current national and state debates on LGBTQ+ issues—particularly those centering on religious values—this timely project will contribute to a respectful, evidence-based dialogue, involving multiple points of view to ‘spur engagement, understanding, and human connection,’ in line with the Institute’s values.”

Sophia Borgias, Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Programs, School of Public Service

“The IAAV grant supports Dr. Borgias’ research about how environmental, ranching, and Indigenous communities are finding common ground around pressing water issues in the American West. She has studied these ‘unlikely alliances’ in two cases of rural-urban water conflicts in the Great Basin, conducting more than 60 interviews and several focus groups with communities in eastern California and eastern Nevada. The IAAV grant will support her travel to share the latest findings with participants, present at a regional conference, and work on other products to reach broader audiences.”

Symposium for Civic and History Education (SCHE) 

“Understanding Democracy, the 2023 SCHE conference for Idaho Social Studies Teachers, will offer content-rich and pedagogically sound sessions for Idaho teachers who can then take what they learn back to their classrooms and students. The conference, to be held at the Center for Visual Arts on Boise State’s campus, includes a keynote address by Johann Neem, professor of History at Western Washington University, on August 3, 2023, that will be open to the public. During concurrent sessions on August 4, teachers will choose from an array of topics, focusing on those that best meet their individual needs and interests. Presenters at concurrent sessions will be Boise State faculty, award-winning master teachers in History and Social Studies, and local or regional scholars with expertise on an aspect of the conference theme. This conference represents an opportunity to build relationships with school districts in Boise and beyond; to facilitate networks between secondary and Boise State teachers state-wide; to showcase Boise State faculty as expert researchers and educators; and to enrich the lives of Idaho students through our outreach.

SCHE is a collaborative group comprising faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences (John Bieter and Lisa Brady), the School of Public Service (Issac Castellano and Stewart Gardner), and the College of Education (Sara Fry), as well as community partners such as Russ Heller (retired Social Studies director for Boise School District), secondary education Social Studies directors for Treasure Valley school districts, and colleagues at College of Western Idaho, College of Southern Idaho, Idaho State University, University of Idaho, and Lewis-Clark State College. The SCHE mission is to support civic and history education in Idaho at all levels through an annual conference, an Open Educational Resources website, and a speakers bureau.”