By Marcus Jensen
Sunshine Brosi, associate professor of Wildland Resources at Utah State University Eastern, has been named as a Faculty Fellow in Community Engagement. Brosi, alongside Professor Laura Gelfand, is the first USU faculty member to be named a fellow in the inaugural program, which was announced in September. The selection was made by the USU Center for Community Engagement and the Office of the Provost.
“This is a well-deserved recognition for Dr. Brosi,” said Doug Miller, associate vice president for USU Eastern. “Her dedication to USU Eastern extends far beyond campus and her enthusiasm for student success is evident in every interaction she has. She is a faculty pioneer in the USU system and an important member of our Eastern Aggie family.”
The Faculty Fellows program aims to further bolster the connection between the CCE (student affairs) and faculty (academic affairs), which is necessary for continued growth and success as an institution that is committed to community engagement.
Brosi has developed and instructed 15 different courses over the past three years at USU, including six community-engaged designated courses, which are taught in-person, through connect and online. She leads community-engaged learning courses that address land, water and air issues in rural Utah with nonprofits and federal and state agency collaboration. Brosi is also actively involved in mentoring high school students at the National 4-H Forestry Invitational and at Carbon High School 4-H & FFA Range Career Development Events.
“Community engagement courses help transform students to be more civic minded and I enjoy that process,” she said. “I have always been passionate about civic engagement and community engagement. I want to share that passion with our students.”
In addition to being named a Faculty Fellow, Brosi has received several awards for her teaching and student mentoring, including the Center for Intersectional Gender Studies and Research Teaching Fellows and USU Empowering Teaching Excellence’s Teaching Excellence Scholars.
The Faculty Fellows program will work to broaden the pool of USU faculty leadership in community-engaged teaching and research. Brosi’s fellowship will begin in January 2024 and will include a two-year term. During the program, she will help statewide faculty understand community engagement and help them get their courses designated as community-engaged courses. She will also lead research on how including community engagement in courses helps transform the lives of students.
“I hope that more statewide faculty apply for fellowships like this in the future,” Brosi said.
Faculty Fellows will help advance Community-Engaged Learning (CEL) course development, Community-Engaged Research and Community-Engaged Departments. They will also mentor and train new faculty on CEL pedagogy.