Outstanding Educator Award
Joshua Price is the archetypical SUU faculty member, embraced and respected by his peers and colleagues, valued by his administrators, and beloved by his students, whom he encourages to work hard, dare greatly, and have fun along the way. It is his aim to prepare those students to accomplish any goal that they have for themselves. He is ever on the lookout for ways to prepare students for the challenges that come after graduation, actively seeking out internship opportunities and job openings. He is focused on training his students with data analysis tools to be able to make a positive contribution in a wide variety of fields. Highly involved in campus events and activities—including intramural basketball—and always looking to collaborate on projects, especially with students, Dr. Price joined the SUU faculty in January 2014, after serving as an assistant professor of economics at University of Texas at Arlington and as an economist for Litigation Analytics, Inc. He has also been a visiting lecturer at his alma mater, Brigham Young University, from which he earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics in 2005.A native of Hillsboro, Ore., he holds a Ph.D. in policy analysis and management from Cornell University. His research interests are in the fields of health economics, economics of education and sports economics, the latter of which has brought him a richness of renown in the sports-obsessed America of today. He is an avid scholarly contributor to leading economic journals on a variety of topics, as well, as his published papers include works on financial incentives for weight loss, how to incentivize successful college behaviors, the effect of instructor characteristics on persistence in STEM fields, behavioral effects of school vending machines, and the effects of the NCAA’s Proposition 16 on recruiting of minority student-athletes. Among his favorite courses to teach at SUU is Quantitative Methods, he says, because he teaches real-world applications of math and stats, teaching students to make data-driven decisions for which employers seek. He is a huge proponent of students gaining research experience, noting that such knowledge greatly improves the experience students can have within any field of study.
His wife, Kelli, received her B.A from SUU after graduating from St. George’s Pine View High School. She went on to earn an Ed.S. in school counseling and psychology from BYU. Josh and Kelli are parents to four energetic boys (all budding young economists, Josh says).
Danielle Beazer Dubrasky
An associate professor of creative writing, as well as the director of Convocations, the University’s lecture series, Dr. Dubrasky holds a doctorate in English from the University of Utah, and degrees also from Stanford and BYU. A noted poet and editor, Danielle’s works have been widely published. She is a two-time recipient of the Utah Arts Council first-place award in poetry, as well as the 2014 Anabiosis Press Chapbook Competition winner for her chapbook “Ruin and Light.” She professes that words have musical sounds that correspond to other words, so when teaching, she encourages students to recognize their own innate relationship to language in order to bring out the music in the arrangement of their words. She has taught at SUU since 1990.
Shobha Hamal Gurung
Dr. Gurung, an associate professor of sociology, has taught at SUU since 2007 and is consistently recognized as a highly effective teacher who offers a multiplicity of opportunities for her students to grow and to excel. She brings a rich and highly varied background to her teaching and mentoring. Raised in Kathmandu, Nepal, she provides a global perspective which enhances the learning environment, and she strives to equip students with a sociological imagination so that they can critically examine and analyze the complexities of the social/global world in which we live, and become conscientious and responsible global citizens. She completed her doctorate in sociology from Boston’s Northeastern University, and earned her bachelor’s degree in
economics and music from Nepal’s Tribhuvan University.
Professor of Communication Jon Smith has garnered national attention with multiple awards and recognitions for his work as a director, producer, writer, photographer and videographer. He leans partly on his years working in the Salt Lake City television market. His 19-minute docudrama Back Up the Mountain has earned a number of awards and been hailed as a paragon of the genre of historical re-creations. Dr. Smith, who has taught here for 27 years, and who holds a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Tennessee, is a passionate teacher who empowers his students with the knowledge and skills to be successful not only in their careers, but in their lives. He has previously won a number of faculty awards here.
In the words of a colleague, Dr. Jana Lunt “is a hugely important addition to the mathematics department, and we are lucky to land a scholar and teacher of such high caliber.” She earnestly provides opportunities for students to see the logic, importance, and even the beauty of mathematics. The assistant professor of mathematics not only helps her students succeed in the classroom, but she was also the principal investigator on a grant that provides scholarships to more than 30 students. She is now working on renewing the grant for another five years, which would fund another generation of STEM students at SUU. From Ojai, Calif., and a BYU graduate, she earned a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from Penn State University.
Tyler F. Stillman
Dr. Tyler Stillman’s motto is “Don’t be boring,” and his students will confirm that between the hands-on experience and comprehensive discussions, they are never bored. He earned a Ph.D. in social psychology from Florida State University in 2009, and was a postdoctoral research associate there before beginning his teaching career in 2010 at SUU in the department of management and marketing, where he is an assistant professor. A native of Holladay, Utah, he earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Utah. He has published in a variety of fields, from marketing and management to psychology, and his research is widely cited: 1,858 citations since 2011, which shows that his passion for teaching and dedication to his field is spreading far beyond Southern Utah University.
Nathan S. Werner
As an alumnus of Southern Utah University, Dr. Werner is a living model of the value of an SUU chemical education. He is committed to helping his students realize a real-world understanding of chemistry through its application and takes seriously his responsibility to ensure the success of his students, as demonstrated in their success on the American Chemical Society examinations for the courses he teaches. Dr. Werner’s students consistently exceed the national average. He is also dedicated to helping his students excel at independent research, and typically mentors three to five students each summer, whose work has resulted in numerous campus, state, regional, and national presentations. Dr. Werner, an assistant professor of chemistry, earned his doctorate at the University of Illinois.Past Recipients