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Dr. Norm Jones named Teacher of the Year


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Norm Jones
Dr. Norm Jones

Summarizing Dr. Norm Jones’ accomplishments is a difficult task.


Since joining USU in 1978, he has taught large surveys, small upper-division courses, graduate seminars, and independent studies. Just this past year he taught the sophomore methods course, HIST 3000, to rave reviews from students; many said the course helped them truly understand the discipline of history. He also teaches courses that straddle the divide between religious studies and history such as his History of Christianity in the West (HIST 4230).


Dr. Jones’ graduate mentorship has taken a variety of forms over the years.  He has served as chair or committee member for dozens of master’s students in history, taught a popular graduate seminar in Religious History, and as of Fall 2017, he is directing or sitting on graduate committees for eight students. Many of our alumni point to Dr. Jones’ mentoring as a critical component in their success both at USU and in their post-university careers. Several of these students are now university professors themselves.


Beyond being a popular teacher here at USU, Dr. Jones is an innovative thinker who has become one of the national leaders in thinking about the teaching of History and the Humanities. He has led statewide, regional, and national efforts to design history and general education pedagogy; in fact, his reputation is international. At the statewide level, Dr. Jones led the Regents’ General Education Task Force for more than 15 years, and he began a statewide conference for educators that is entering its 20th year. At the national level, his leadership has been recognized with substantial grant funding for higher education curricular initiatives such as his recent grant with Dan McInerney from the American Association of Colleges and Universities ($117,800) and through a large grant ($390,000) from the Lumina Foundation. He is also a board member for the College Board and the National Institute for Outcomes Learning Assessment (NILOA).


Finally, Dr. Jones has just completed the manuscript for a book he hopes will be assigned in classrooms. The book is tentatively entitled “Being Elizabethan.” This project arose out of a sabbatical year fellowship that Dr. Jones won at the Huntington Library in California. He has developed the book, which is under contract with Wiley publishers, as an exploration of the culture of Elizabethan England aimed primarily at undergraduate audiences. While this book reflects the depth of his three decades of research and scholarship, it also provides a window into the successful classroom teaching that has been a hallmark of his time at USU.


To these many accomplishments, Dr. Jones can now add 2018 CHaSS Teacher of the Year. Please join us in celebrating this wonderful news.