College of Arts and Humanities

Dean’s Corner: May 2024


Dear Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Friends,

Thank you for helping to make the first academic year of our new College a success. There was some anxiety for sure as we all faced this new world a year ago, but whatever lingering feelings there were did not stand in the way of delivering a top-notch year of learning for our students.

As we close out the academic year, it has been a season of celebration.

State Honors

Brooks Center for the Performing Arts Director Emeritus Lillian “Mickey” Harder was recently awarded the Order of the Palmetto for her lifetime career of service to the arts at Clemson. This is the highest civilian award in the state of South Carolina.

Mickey is a dynamo and a cornerstone of the music scene in the region. Recordings from her Utsey Series at the Brooks Center are regularly picked up by National Public Radio’s Performance Today. At over 100 broadcasts of international stars, that means literally millions of people around the country have listened to recordings of Brooks Center concerts. I could not be prouder of her accomplishment and happier for Mickey’s richly deserved recognition.

Brooks Center Director Emeritus Mickey Carter receives a standing ovation from a packed Brooks Center crowd while accepting the Order of the Palmetto Award from S.C. Representative Jerry T. Carter.

University Honors

Two of our students were honored at the 2024 University Spring Awards program earlier this month. For the second time in the last three years, a humanities student was awarded the Norris Medal, the most prestigious recognition for a Clemson student. Given the calibre of Clemson students overall, and the emphasis Clemson places on the STEM disciplines, I find it remarkable that our Humanities students are consistently performing at the highest level at this university. So, congratulations to Helena Harte, a double major in history and political science, for earning this honor. Melina Wallace, from the Department of English, also received the 2024 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award of which I am very proud. She represents a tradition of teaching excellence that has defined her department for decades and which is a hallmark of our new College.

CAH Honors

Our College’s three signature student honors are the Phi Kappa Phi Certificate of Merit, Dre Martin Service Award and the Blue Key Academic and Leadership Award. Kathryn Rabon, Samuel Kull and Kathryn Henry earned these awards, respectively. Each of these honors requires the winner to have a strong academic record and contribute to our community.

Congratulations are also in order to Lisa Odom and Hamilton Alstatt. Lisa was recognized as Faculty Member of the Year, and Hamilton as Advisor of the Year. These two awards, in particular, should hold special meaning since CAH students put forth the nominees.

Lastly, we convened as a College on May 8 for an end-of-semester breakfast and meeting at the Owen Pavilion and recognized several faculty and staff members with Dean’s Awards for their excellence and dedication. We expected roughly 85 people to come out, but I was elated when more than 110 of our faculty and staff attended. The spirit of collegiality among our departments and investment in the success of our college has never been stronger, and that spirit radiates outward to our students.

I wish each of you a healthy and happy summer. The Fall semester will be here before we know it.

Go Tigers!

Nicholas Vazsonyi, Dean

College of Arts and Humanities

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