University of Montana Environmental Studies Professor Neva Hassanein has been honored as the 2013 Artsmith Scholar of the Year.
From mentoring students to advocating for child and dog safety to teaching farmers sustainable agriculture, Neva Hassanein gives generously of her time and expertise to make the world, and especially her community in Missoula, Montana a better place for everyone. Talk to Neva and you'll find an attentive, curious listener who values others' opinions and truly wants to engage not just in conversation but in actions that help us become better stewards of the earth. As a scholar of Environmental Studies, her interests go beyond the classroom -- or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the classroom goes well beyond the campus. For example, she and University of Montana Department of Social Work Professor Maxine Jacobson brought together such disparate groups as farmers, county officials, students, chefs, food bank representatives, residents, and more to develop improvements in the local food system. Her "participatory action research" provides both students and community members first hand opportunities to explore alternative methods to create "an agricultural system that is ecologically sound, economically viable, and socially just."
Each year Artsmith honors a mid- to advanced-career professional for their deep generosity to others and contributions to their field. Rotating annually among an Artist, Writer, or Scholar of the Year,the award comes as a total surprise to the selected awardee. Our wide-roving, secret band of nominators (all generous people themselves) search high and low to find the most considerate, genuinely thoughtful artists, writers, and scholars who consistently treat others with kindness and respect. Previous awardees include Kevin Clark, 2011 Writer of the Year, and Kesler Woodward, 2012 Artist of the Year. Awardees are granted a week-long retreat at the Kangaroo House Bed and Breakfast on Orcas Island.
Neva Hassanein is a Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Montana. She received her doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is the author of Changing the Way America Farms: Knowledge and Community in the Sustainable Agriculture Movement (University of Nebraska Press, 1999). Her current teaching, research, and community service focus on building sustainable, local, and democratic food systems. She and her students have been involved in an array of efforts to strengthen a Montana-based food system by protecting farmland, supporting beginning farmers, creating farm-to-cafeteria programs, doing community-based action research, and more. Hassanein co-founded the Community Food and Agriculture Coalition (CFAC), a food policy council in Missoula County, Montana. In 2011, she served as the President of the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society, an interdisciplinary academic society made up of scholars and practitioners from around the world. Her favorite hobbies include mushroom hunting, gardening, hiking, and cross-country skiing; and she’s learning to keep honeybees.
Check out these talented writers at the 2012-2013 Artsmith Salon Series at Darvill's Bookstore:
Peter Ludwin, Rumors of Fallible Gods, a collection of poems set in Latin America, Europe, Asia and North Africa. November 13
Holly Hughes, The Pen and the Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World, "a needed reminder that to be fully alive and alert is a prerequisite to writing well." February 12
Sonya Lea, Wondering Who You Are, "The loss of identity through cancer, brain injury, travel, art, food, sex, wilderness and family, and our journey to discover what lies beyond who we think we are." March 12
Casey Fuller, A Fort Made of Doors, "Depth and humor run side by side, pointing to truths great and small" in the 2011 winner of the Floating Bridge Press poetry contest. Plus, Tina Schumann, As If, awarded the Stephen Dunn Poetry Prize and described as "intimate and accessible and full of surprises." April 9
Kathleen Flenniken, Plume, Washington State Poet Laureate's collection of poems about the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, including the poet's personal history growing up near and later working for what has become the largest nuclear clean-up site in the country. May 14
Readings begin at 6 pm at Darvill's Bookstore in Eastsound, WA. For more information, go to Artsmith Salon Series.