Awards, CAH, CAH Social Media, Central Washington University, College of Arts and Humanities, Department of Art, Department of Communication, Department of English, Department of History, Department of music, Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies, Department of Theatre Arts, Department of World Languages and Cultures, Uncategorized

We Are #CAHProud: Celebrating Our 2017 Year-End Celebration Winners

How can a future-oriented liberal arts college celebrate and recognize the talent and achievements of its undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, chairs, and staff from its eight dynamic departments and four diverse interdisciplinary programs?

One way is to take quality time near the conclusion of each academic year to honor those with extraordinary achievements, making our college better as a result of their impressive contributions.


Another way is to salute our eight departments through a cavalcade of unique posters, leading from the SURC Ballroom entrance to our college’s 2017 Year-End Celebration right up to the podium.

And let’s not forget that each one of these theatre-style posters included our hashtag: #CAHProud.

We are indeed, #CAHProud.

Who is better at telling our story of overachievement than each of our departments? Consider the contributions of our Department of Art in nurturing the skills of students dreaming of painting, sculpting, and designing the next masterpiece.


How about our Department of Communication, offering degrees in Communication Studies, Digital Journalism, and Public Relations, thus preparing the next generation of story tellers to advocate and report the news, stories, and information that society needs.


Our Department of English aims to develop scholars in the world’s Lingua Franca, and recently received the state’s only “Big Read” grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).


Our Department of History prepares our students to succeed as evidenced by alumnus Lori Bohn, a Boeing Systems Planner. The department emphasizes both historical knowledge and historical modes of understanding.


Our recent “Community Day of Music” was the centerpiece for our poster presenting our Department of Music. The department prepares students for careers in music, providing them with the skills to become knowledgeable and confident music educators, performers, and practitioners.


There are three primary reasons to major in philosophy or religious studies: Earn more, score higher, love what you do. Philosophy majors are paid well because employers want talented people who can think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems.


The Department of Theatre Arts produces fabulous shows each season (e.g., Chicago, The Musical and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream), both on the main stage and in studio (workshop) settings. These opportunities and many others allow students to put classroom theory into practice as part of the regular season of Central Theatre Ensemble, the department’s production wing.


Study abroad (e.g., Spanish Professor Dr. Eric Mayer’s student hike along Spain’s legendary Camino de Santiago de Compostela) are among the opportunities provided by our Department of World Languages and Cultures. The department offers majors in five languages, and minors in eight more.


Besides extolling our eight dynamic departments, the main purpose of the College of Arts and Humanities Year-End Celebration was to recognize the accomplishments of our award winners:

Undergraduate Awards:

Thomas Gause Award for Achievement in Music: Composition, Taylor Griffin

Betty E. Evans Award for Achievement in Creative Writing: Poetry, Jason Days

CAH Award for Achievement in Non-Fiction Writing: Creative Writing: Joshua Swainston

The George Stillman Award for Achievement in Art, Austin Harris

CAH Award for Achievement in Performance: Live Performance, Joshua Johnson

Raymond Smith Award for Achievement in Scholarship, Sophia Andarovna

Marji Morgan Outstanding Student Award, Omar Manza

Marji Morgan Outstanding Student Award, McKenzie Lakey

Graduate Awards:

Outstanding Graduate Student Scholarship Award, Lexi Renfro

Outstanding Graduate Student Artistic Achievement Award, Brock Jensen

Faculty Awards:

Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award, Gary Bartlett (Philosophy and Religious Studies)

Outstanding Faculty Research Award, Cesar Garcia (Communication)

Outstanding Faculty Artistic Achievement Award, Vijay Singh (Music)

Outstanding Faculty Service Award, Michael Johnson (World Languages)

Outstanding Non-Tenure Track Faculty Teaching Award, Kirsten Boldt-Neurohr (Music)

Achievement Award for Inclusivity and Diversity, Cynthia Coe (Philosophy and Religious Studies)

Outstanding Employee Award, Sara Carroll (Music)

Outstanding Department Chair Award, Marji Morgan (Communication)


Most of all, our Year-End Celebration provided all of us an opportunity to thank Dr. Marji Morgan for her leadership, her track record as college dean for nearly a decade, and for her willingness to serve as the interim chair of our Department of Communication for the past two years.

Starting this coming fall, Marji will return to teaching History. She will always be a great mentor, advisor, confident and most of all a wonderful friend.

Now, that calls for a Year-End Celebration!

By Stacey Robertson

Arts and Humanities, College of Arts and Humanities, Spanish, Study Abroad, Uncategorized, World languages

CWU’s Life-Changing Experience: Hiking El Camino de Santiago

By Dean Stacey Robertson

Quick: Name a continent that has not been explored by students from the Central Washington University College of Arts and Humanities?

The list of college faculty-led, study-abroad trips continues to grow each year as Central Washington University strives to provide students with even more opportunities to expand their horizons, enrich their lives, and further prepare them for careers characterized by lifelong learning.

To date, College of Arts and Humanities (CAH) students have studied Roman art it Italy, communications in Spain, religious influences in Cambodia, theatre productions in Japan, architecture in France, folklore in Mexico, and creative writing in Ireland.


.Next summer, CAH students, faculty, and alumni are all invited to join Associate Professor of Spanish Dr. Eric Mayer and French Program Coordinator Dr. Michael Johnson for a 16-day, 190-mile hike along Spain’s historic Camino de Santiago or Way of St. James, Spain’s patron saint. Reportedly, approximately 200,000 hiked the world famous Camino de Santiago in 2014.

Mayer sees the hike of this beautiful ninth-century pilgrimage route as being both a “physical challenge” and a “life-changing experience” for students. The shortest hiking day will be 4.8 miles (including a visit to Templar Castle) and the longest will be 18.1 miles from Palais del Rei to Arzúa.

Shortly after arriving in Madrid, the CWU College of Arts and Humanities hike will begin in León and end at Santiago de Compostela (Spain’s Galicia region) and its renowned cathedral, reportedly the final resting spot for St. James (Santiago in Spanish). Along each step of the 16-day route, students will have their specialized Camino “passport” stamped, an eternal testament to their commitment to the pilgrimage route.

This past summer Mayer traversed the Camino de Santiago for the second time. The professor avoided repeating the mistake of trying to do too much, too soon. In 1998, Mayer and his wife, Jill, attempted to walk 30 miles on the first day of the Camino.


“The program appeals to me on different levels both physical and intellectual, but it holds special interest for me as a professor of Spanish language and culture,” said Mayer, reflecting on his personal philosophy behind offering the hike to students, faculty, and alums. “We will be immersed in the history and the culture of Spain. It will be an interactive experience, and we will be forced to use our Spanish.”

One Month of Spanish Immersion in León

Besides the more than two-week hike, averaging about 12 miles per day, students who have completed second-year Spanish or more will be offered an opportunity to complement the Camino de Santiago physical/cultural experience with a follow-up full-month of intensive language studies at the University of León.

One of the features of the study at León is the opportunity to practice Castilian Spanish, particularly the use of the vosotros-form of address, exclusively used on the Iberian Peninsula.

Students, faculty and alumni have the flexibility of only hiking the Camino de Santiago and/or studying intensive Spanish at the University of León. The excursion departs Seattle for Madrid next June 12 and returns from Spain’s capital to the Emerald City on July 6. Included in the tour is a visit to Madrid’s Prado Museum and the Royal Palace.

For more information about next summer’s hike of the Camino de Santiago and/or Spanish immersion study at the University of León, please visit: