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Desiree Brunette Awarded the 2024 Faculty Excellence Award

Achieving something is important because it provides individuals with a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment, aiding in personal growth, learning, and confidence building. Witnessing the hard work of an individual is a gratifying experience. Desiree Brunette of Boise State University exemplifies this sentiment by winning the 2024 Faculty Excellence award, marking a significant achievement in her career.

Desiree earned a Master of Arts in Sociology from New Mexico State University in 2014, maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA. Additionally, she earned a Master of Arts in Education from Chapman University in 2000 and completed a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential with CLAD Chapman University in 1999. Her academic journey started with the achievement of a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communication with an emphasis in Journalism from California State University, Fullerton, in 1996.

Desiree teaches a wide variety of courses.  She has developed several course offerings including Sociology of the Family, Sociology of Sex and Sexualities and Sociology of Religion.  Desiree is co-teaching a UF 100 course which she developed with former student and now colleague, Julia Broderick. The course is entitled complicated relationships, and the two hope to engage students in learning how to handle difficult conversations and relationships. Desiree is incredibly active in the community serving on the Board of Directors for Faces of Hope, and as a Guardian Ad Litem for children in foster care.  She is also the Internship Coordinator for the department of Sociology, Concurrent Enrollment Faculty Liasion, on the student conduct board and advises for the Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter.

Desiree’s teaching style emphasizes discussion over lecturing, fostering an environment conducive to free expression of ideas. She said “She hopes her classes are a free form of expression of ideas.” She would rather her students interject than spend hours lecturing. A question that came to light was how she handles topics that may be seen as controversial. Her response to this question was “In my mind it is the whole premise of higher education. Pretty much all things can be a controversial topic in college. It is hard to find a way for the class to feel free to express their opinions.” Desiree encourages student engagement and tackles challenging topics with sensitivity and openness, aligning with the core principles of higher education.

The Boise State 2024 Excellence Award recognizes the outstanding contributions of faculty members in teaching, research, creative endeavors, and service. Desiree expressed that, “It has been a really challenging few years in higher education and the award made me feel like in all the times we get attacked for our jobs, it made me feel special for getting recognition for my work. It is a hard job and when you feel like it matters it makes me want to keep doing it.”

Colleague testimony from Paty further highlights the meaningfulness of the award, describing it as a tribute to the dedication of “unsung heroes” within the university community. This was a beautiful way of putting meaning behind this award. Paty also emphasizes that Desiree recognizes this award by “excellent teaching, community service, and department involvement, her dedication and passion to educate students, and her dedication to stay current on sociological content.”

In conclusion, winning an award signifies a remarkable achievement, validating one’s dedication, skills, and contributions. It serves as a testament to hard work and talent, while also opening doors to new opportunities and fostering a sense of pride and acknowledgment.