Arizona Humanities is delighted to announce the recipients of the 2017 Arizona Humanities Awards. The recipients of this year’s Humanities Awards are:

For over 20 years the Arizona Humanities Awards have recognized community members and organizations that have made significant contributions to Arizona’s civic and cultural life through the humanities. Brenda Thomson, Executive of Director for Arizona Humanities shared, “This year’s award winners are outstanding. The winners are as diverse as the communities they serve, and the programs they have created. The awards were quite competitive this year, with 21 talented nominations. It was tough to choose amongst so many incredible scholars, leaders and humanitarians. We are very fortunate to have such talented individuals and remarkable organizations here in Arizona.”

Read more about each award recipient below. Save-the-date for the the Arizona Humanities Awards to be presented on Friday, February 24, 2017 at New City PHX (1300 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004).


James Blasingame, Professor, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University

James Blasingame
James Blasingame

As a professor at Arizona State University, Jim Blasingame focuses on young adult literature, Indigenous curriculum, censorship, secondary reading and writing pedagogy, preparing pre-service teachers, and cowboy poetry. He also works with the ASU chapter of the US State Department’s International Leaders in Education Partnership, for which he helps visiting teachers from around the world to create professional development modules to use with teachers in their home countries. Dr. Blasingame is the executive director of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the National Council of Teachers of English, and has served as its president and co-editor of The ALAN Review, a journal devoted entirely to young adult literature. For fourteen years, he created the Books for Adolescents pages of the Journal of Adult and Adolescent Literacy, which is sponsored by the International Literacy Association. He is an assistant to Simon Ortiz on the RED INK Indigenous Initiative for All: Collaboration and Creativity at Work.

Dr. Blasingame is the author of Books That Don’t Bore ‘Em: Young Adult Literature for Today’s Generation (Scholastic, 2007), Gary Paulsen: A Student Companion to Young Adult Literature (Greenwood Press 2007), and They Rhymed with Their Boots On: A Teacher’s Guide to Cowboy Poetry (The Writing Conference, 2000). He is a coauthor of John Green: Teen Whisperer (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015, with Laura Brown and Kathleen Deakin), Stephenie Meyer, In the Twilight (Rowman and Littlefield, 2012, with Kathleen Deakin and Laura Brown), Using Mentor Texts to Teach Writing (Scholastic, 2010,with Ruth Culham and Ray Coutu) Teaching Writing in Middle and Secondary Schools (Pearson, Prentice-Hall 2004, with John Bushman) and Literature for Today’s Young Adults (Pearson, 2012, with Alleen Pace Nilsen, Don Nilsen, and Ken Donelson. He has also published over 100 interviews with poets and authors of young adult literature and over 200 book reviews in VOYA, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, The ALAN Review and English Journal. Dr. Blasingame works with Dr. Alleen Pace Nilsen and Dr. Don Nilsen to create the annual Honor List of young adult literature for English Journal. His articles on young adult literature and censorship have appeared in the Washington Post online, and his coauthored (with Dr. Sybil Durand) piece on censorship, entitled “Do No Harm,” won the 2016 ALAN Review Editors Award “for excellence in writing and contribution to the field.”

Dr. Blasingame was the 2014 ASU Doctoral Mentor of the Year, and the 2008 ASU Parents’ Association Professor of the Year. He was the 2008 International Reading Association Arbuthnot Award winner for outstanding professor of children’s and young adult literature.  2014 ASU Doctoral Mentor of the Year. He has given presentations performing cowboy poetry at the National Council of Teachers of English convention, the International Reading Association, the Western States Conference on Rhetoric and Composition, and the Graz University International Summer School at Seggau Castle in Austria.

Before coming to ASU in 2000, Dr. Blasingame spent twenty-four years in secondary education as a high school teacher and principal.

Humanities Public Scholar Nominees: Albrecht Classen, Betsy Fahlman, Alison King, Melanie Sturgeon, Michelle Tellez

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Barbara Hatch, Founder and Program Director, Veterans Heritage Project

Barbara Hatch
Barbara Hatch

Barbara Hatch, Veterans Heritage Project (VHP) Founder and Program Director, is a retired high school history teacher with 40 years of experience, a B.A. in English and Education, and a M.A. in History. Hatch began bringing veterans into her classroom in 1998, established the after-school oral history program as a club in 2004, and worked with parents to expand the program into other schools by transitioning VHP into a 501(c)3 non-profit in 2009. Hatch volunteers full-time to organize student participation in hundreds of community service events statewide; speaks on behalf of VHP at educational conferences and to civic groups; provides Teacher Advisor training and guidance to 25 Arizona chapters; works with chapters to publish five regional editions of the Since You Asked volume; and provides training to volunteer veteran speakers for the lecture series.

For her role in developing the VHP curriculum, Hatch has been recognized as the 2011 recipient of the Daughter’s of the American Revolution Founders Medal for Education; 2012 Arizona History Teacher of the Year; 2015 Wilbur Murra Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from the Arizona Council for the Social Studies; and a 2016 Hon Kachina Volunteer Award winner.

Friend of the Humanities Nominees: Bullion Plaza Cultural Center and Museum (Thomas Foster), Lisa Falk, Susan French, Andrea Houchard, Latino Familia Initiative, Morning Star Leaders (Debbie Manuel), Karen O’Keefe, Opera Guild of Southern Arizona, Marge Pellegrino, Sedona Public Library, University of Arizona Humanities Seminar Program

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Nancy Liliana Godoy-Powell, Archivist and Librarian of the Chicano/a Research Collection at Arizona State University

Nancy Liliana Godoy-Powell
Nancy Liliana Godoy-Powell

Nancy Liliana Godoy-Powell is the Archivist and Librarian of the Chicano/a Research Collection at Arizona State University. She’s responsible for collection development, archival arrangement-description, community outreach – exhibits, and instruction-specialized reference services. Godoy-Powell, a native of Yuma, comes from a farm worker background and is committed to engaging, educating, and empowering her communities. She received her B.A. in History at Northern Arizona University and M.A. in Library Science at University of Arizona. As a Knowledge River alumna, she’s a passionate advocate for underserved communities in libraries and archives, more specifically the Latino community. In 2015, Godoy-Powell also helped co-establish the Arizona LGBT History Project, an initiative to preserve local history and make archival material accessible to future generations.

Humanities Rising Star Nominees: Megan LaRose, Katherine Standefer

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