Weiss, Guzman, Niemi, and Davidson Named Faculty Fellows at Chattanooga State

January 9, 2023 | Chris Lykins | Faculty Fellow

ChattState 2022–2023 Faculty Fellows on a blue background

The Chattanooga State Faculty Fellows program recognizes and supports innovative faculty who develop and implement academic projects that support scholarship and promote student success. Chattanooga State Faculty Fellowships are named for former faculty members and/or administrators who demonstrated outstanding scholarship and dedication to teaching and learning.

The Faculty Fellows Committee reviewed the proposals submitted for the 2022-2023 academic year and named four faculty members as recipients.

The Amanda Wynn Humanities & Fine Arts Fellow was awarded to Dr. Stanley (Buck) Weiss, an associate professor of English, with Dr. Matthew Guzman, an assistant professor of English, for their proposal to develop a new course entitled The Graphic Novel in American Culture. The proposal states, “The Graphic Novel combines visual and textual rhetoric to curate an innovative and modern literary form. We plan to design the course to focus on the historic, cultural, and critical touchstones that the graphic form holds within society and to foster an active learning space incorporating student research and collaborative assignments through a writing-intensive approach to the material.” This course will be an open educational resources class, allowing the class to be cost-effective for students and hopefully serve as the basis for a new general education course.

The Amanda Wynn Humanities & Fine Arts Fellow was also awarded to Dr. Eric Niemi, an associate professor of English and Speech, on a proposal for a new course titled Appreciation of Popular Culture. Dr. Niemi shared, “The themes, philosophies, and semiotics of popular culture situate consumers into positions of power and (in)equality… This course would allow students to experience and understand critical analysis and cultural studies while using texts they are familiar with and understand.” This course would also be an open educational resource class incorporating culturally responsive teaching.

The Bea Lyons Social & Behavioral Sciences Fellow was awarded to Dr. Skylar Davidson, an associate professor of sociology, on a proposal for a research article on the “role of open-source technologies in shaping adaption to increased automation in employment.” Dr. Davidson shared, “Automation technologies are predicted to replace a variety of tasks currently done by humans across a wide range of occupations. Rather than being a risk to employment, however, this automation can be used as an opportunity to broaden the scope of existing occupations and create a space for humans to meet currently unmet needs via creating new types of work.” Dr. Davidson plans to use the research to support teaching and work on committees at ChattState focused on preparing students for future employment.

The program awards each Faculty Fellow $2,000 to support their work and $1,000 in travel funds to a professional conference or event where they can present their work or become inspired for their next innovation in teaching and learning.