For more than 25 years, Arizona Humanities has honored and celebrated outstanding contributions to the humanities in our state by recognizing individuals and community organizations who have advanced the humanities in Arizona through their scholarship, leadership, support, and advocacy. We are delighted to honor this year’s award recipients and are especially pleased to highlight two special community partners. The award recipients below help us bring the rich cultural history of Arizona to communities everywhere. We hope you will support this festive event and join us in celebrating the work of the award recipients and Arizona Humanities.
Sunday, April 14, 2019
4:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Mesa Arts Center – Virginia G. Piper Repertory Theater
1 E Main St, Mesa, AZ 85201
This award recognizes humanities scholars who have distinguished themselves by enhancing public understanding of the role the humanities play in transforming lives and strengthening communities, and have been recognized leaders in promoting the humanities.
An innovative and artistic public thinker
Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry, Associate Professor, Arizona State University
Professor Diaz is a nationally recognized writer, poet, and linguist. She consistently provides dynamic programming, educational and engagement opportunities to students and audiences across the state of Arizona.
“[Natalie] is a gifted writer, an elegant thinker, a passionate educator, and a courageous public figure who continuously invites others to feel, witness, question, wonder, and let themselves be captivated by the power of language… Ms. Diaz understands the value of story, the importance of having a space to tell it, and the meaning of having it heard.”
A brilliant equity, ethics, and sustainability champion
School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies Senior Sustainability Scholar, Global Institute for Sustainability, Honors Faculty, Barrett, the Honors College, and Professor of Philosophy at Arizona State University
Professor McGregor has a sustained and significant record of ambassadorship and public engagement for the Humanities. Her ongoing project, “The Future of Food,” has brought members of the community from diverse backgrounds together in various contexts. Her many projects and partnerships have demonstrated the value of Humanities research in addressing urgent problems of our time and have engaged members of the public, academics across disciplines, and working professionals.
“As a passionate and creative advocate for the Humanities, Professor McGregor has created public dialogue around questions of sustainability and the environment, food, and health, and demonstrated the value of Humanities research to academics and professionals in the sciences and law…”
Humanities Public Scholar Nominees
Owen Anderson, T.J. Davis, Betsy Fahlman, Ronald Geronimo, Björn Krondorfer, Tyler Meier, Paul Morris, Heidi Osselaer, Kirt Shineman, Brooks Simpson
This award recognizes a young professional, student, or volunteer with outstanding creative approaches to engaging the public with the humanities, and whose humanities scholarship and public service has enhanced public understanding of the humanities
A creative storyteller mobilizing diverse communities
Director, The Whole Story
Rachel Egboro is changing conversations about race in Arizona. Through the art of storytelling, Egboro has created a platform where Black people have a space to celebrate their stories and invite the whole community to partake in the experience. The Whole Story connects seemingly disparate people, on levels deeper than the skin, as human beings.
“Rachel creates spaces for people to come together and celebrate our humanity…[she] has a gift of connecting with any individual no matter their ethnicity, age, background or experience…Diverse topics that are difficult to share are easier to understand because of her unique storytelling technique.”
Humanities Rising Star Nominees
Sean Avery Medlin, Travis Franks, Jake Friedman and Kelsey Pinckney, J. Seth Schermerhorn
This award recognizes individuals who have made a lasting contribution to the cultural life of their communities through their active support of and involvement in promoting the humanities. The award recognizes the dedication and contribution of Julian Yoder during her service and leadership with Arizona Humanities.
A passionate steward of the skies
Historian, Lowell Observatory
Kevin Schindler is spearheading the Flagstaff Lunar Legacy celebration, which recognizes northern Arizona’s contributions to the 1960’s-70’s missions to the Moon. He writes extensively about Arizona history and the history of science; his latest book is “Pluto and Lowell Observatory: A History of Discovery at Flagstaff”. Through over 400 published works and countless presentations to people of all ages, Kevin has helped Arizonans make connections between history and their own lives.
“I cannot think of another person with more skill at connecting history to people’s lives. Kevin’s passion for the humanities is evident in the depth and breadth of his knowledge, especially about the history of Arizona…History is very much alive at Lowell, thanks in large part to Kevin’s work as our resident Historian.”
Friend of the Humanities Nominees
Stuart Graff, Randall Holdridge, Jean Reynolds, Helen Stephenson
A humanities advocate fostering relationships across disciplines
When we talk about that ripple in the water that the humanities are, we think of Rodo. He brings people, organizations, and communities together to advance our mission and helps make the world a better place. Rodo not only serves as an AZ Speaker, he shares resources and connects us with other community partners. He has introduced us to Thrivent Choice and encourages others to support AH with their time and donations. He has promoted AH through his own book events and donated proceeds back. Rodo participated in our Hop Skip Jump and Ghostly Stories programs as a reader, and continuously encourages others to volunteer at and attend AH programs.
A collaborative effort supporting Native-American youth
Morning Star Leaders is an AH Project Grant recipient. Royce and Debbie Manuel encourage Native youth to learn, engage and become leaders in their tribe through the Morning Star Leader program. Everywhere they go, Royce and Debbie acknowledge AH and invite people to learn more about the work we do. Royce and Debbie have been strong contributors to the AZ Speaks program for the past three years, and in particular present to high school students through Speaker in the Schools. They received an AH grant for the Bow and Arrow Project in 2017, a unique hands-on educational program that teaches teens about all aspects of the cultural tradition, history, and importance of bow-making in Native culture.