By Marcus Jensen
Sunshine Brosi, associate professor in the Department of Wildland Resources at Utah State University, has been named as the 2024 S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources Undergraduate Faculty Mentor of the Year. Brosi, who teaches a variety of natural resources courses at USU Eastern, will now be entered for consideration for the USU Undergraduate Faculty Mentor of the Year Award, which will be awarded in March.
“This is a well-deserved honor for Dr. Brosi,” said Doug Miller, associate vice president for USU Eastern. “She is an excellent resource for students and is always willing and proactive in providing mentorship to all who seek it. We are fortunate to have Dr. Brosi as a faculty member on our campus.”
Brosi started her academic pursuits with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Warren Wilson College, concentrating in Forest Resource Conservation. She would go on to earn her master’s degree in forestry from the University of Kentucky and a doctorate in natural resources from the University of Tennessee. Prior to joining USU, Brosi was an associate professor at Frostburg State University.
Brosi joined the USU Eastern faculty in July 2020 and is the Director of the Master of Natural Resources program, a fully online degree program. She has taught 14 different courses over her three years at USU. Additionally, Brosi is the primary advisor to QCNR undergraduate students majoring in Wildlife Ecology & Mangement, Environmental Studies, and Recreation Resource Management at USU Eastern and is also the academic advisor to the campus’ The Wildlife Society student club.
“My favorite part of working at USU Eastern is the opportunity to mentor undergraduate students both inside and outside of the classroom,” Brosi said. “Our small class sizes, the ability to teach several different courses to the same cohort of students and our amazing location to study wildlife are conducive to an enriched student experience.”
Brosi understands the needs of many of the students that choose statewide campuses, as she herself was a working mother while attending college. Brosi uses this experience to relate to her students and bring out their best.
“When I was a student, I was a student parent, and I also had a job,” she said. “I know that our students are juggling multiple demands on their time. I enjoy pushing students to their potential while understanding the student as a whole. Knowing my students well helps me to be an effect mentor.”
Brosi also loves getting her students involved in the community through community-engaged learning. Students in wildlife resources courses gain valuable experience out in the real world.
“Through our community-engaged courses, we are able to work directly with local state and federal wildlife agencies to assist in managing wildlife,” Brosi said. “I feel very lucky to be able to provide meaningful hands-on experiences to our students to increase habitat quality and work to protect habitats for several wildlife species. My students have been able to plant trees alongside creeks in Scofield with Trout Unlimited, improve water quality at Miller Creek with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, make fences conducive to pronghorn migration in 9 Mile Canyon and monitor kit fox populations in collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management.”
The Undergraduate Faculty Mentor of the Year Award is awarded each year. The award recognizes and encourages excellence in student mentoring beyond just the standard classroom interaction. The faculty nominees from each college are selected from a committee of students, faculty and administration, appointed by the dean of the college.