Spring is a time of rebirth, and so that is true of the Department of Humanities and Communication. One Chair is moving on as a new one is moving in.
HAC professor Amy Nicholls has served as Department Chair for the last three years. This year she added a new title as Interim Dean of the Jannen School of Arts and Sciences, too. That led to a decision—move on become full-time Dean or fall back to her old position as only Chair. In a loss for the department, but a clear gain for the Jannen School she has decided to move to the Dean position.
Nicholls will continue to teach two classes per semester as part of the department. Still, her commitment to other departments within the Jannen School of Arts and Sciences leaves a void in leadership. HAC professor Justin Young has stepped up to fill the position of new Chair of Humanities and Communication.
Nicholls teaches a wide variety of courses within the department. While most students know her from Technical Communication or Composition I and II, she also teaches The Bible as Literature and Shakespeare. She is the recipient of a McKetta teaching award and the Jannen Renaissance Scholar Award.
Young straddles the line between communication and humanities in the department. From Appreciation of Film to Digital Media Creation, from Media Law & Ethics to Video Games: Art, Culture, and History of a Medium, Young has a diverse teaching portfolio. Additionally, Young was instrumental in creating many of the events the department is best known for, including The Overlooked Film Festival, Playing for Pets, The Humanities Symposia, the HAC Cup and others. Media such as the HAC 3 Strikes podcast, which he co-hosts and this website which he maintains, are side projects. He is also the recipient of a McKetta teaching award.
Young is optimistic about the future of HAC. “Amy has brought us so far as a department. We now have over fifty majors and minors and I’d argue we have the most dedicated students on campus. She deserves a lot of the credit for that.”
Congratulations to both Nicholls and Young. HAC and the wider Jannen School will benefit from their leadership.