2020 Faculty Rank Advancement

2020 Faculty Rank Advancement

Each year, a few select professors are able to take the next step in their careers by advancing their rank in the university. Rank advancement for instructors at UVU requires years of hard work, both in and out of the classroom. 

“To get to this level, a faculty member must contribute in a very meaningful way to their career,” said Janet Colvin, associate dean for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “They have to go above and beyond to contribute significantly to all areas of the institution. Not everyone is willing to put forth the time and effort to reach this point. We couldn’t be more proud of our faculty members who have reached this point.”

We’d like to recognize the professors in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences who have done so much for their students, the college, the university, and the community as a whole.


Maria Blevins, advanced to associate professor

Maria Blevins is an associate professor in the communications department and has been at UVU since 2013. She has loved watching UVU grow and says that one of her favorite things about working here is the feeling that anything is possible. 

In teaching communication, she’s found that a lot of people think they’re good at communicating, but that it’s actually really difficult to create a message that people will understand and connect to. “I love giving students the skills and theory necessary to connect with others,” she said.

In addition to teaching, Blevins is on a multidisciplinary team that recently received a substantial grant from the National Science Foundation to study Utah Lake. She also helped found a group called A-DASH (Anti-Discrimination and Sexual Harassment) which is trying to make the river community more fun for people. 

To students, Blevins recommends that they remember to have fun. “You will never again get to have smart people give you things to read and new ideas and then get to think about them and talk about them with other smart people. It is a special time in life. Have fun doing it!”


John Hunt, advanced to associate professor

An associate history professor specializing in the Renaissance, John Hunt has worked at UVU since 2012. He’s particularly interested in the lives of people who are often ignored by other historians. “My research gives voice to the voiceless of the Renaissance, the marginalized people such as the poor, women, and immigrants to the great cities, such as Rome, Venice, and Naples,” he said.

In 2019, Hunt was instrumental in organizing an international conference titled “Making Stories in the Early Modern World” at the University of Toronto. The conference hosted over 100 scholars, and many of the papers presented there will soon be published in a volume for the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies. 

Hunt unequivocally recommends students study the humanities as a way to set themselves on a path of self-awareness and critical thinking. “It was during the Renaissance that the terms ‘liberal arts’ and ‘humanities’ came into being,” Hunt said. “The idea was that an education should be based on solving the problems of civil life and that they would set one free. In today’s society where facts and reason are under assault, a humanities and social sciences degree will help students sort the truth from lies and false tweets. Hopefully, it will set students on a path of lifelong learning.”


Nate Cottle, advanced to professor

Nate Cottle is a professor of family studies and has worked at UVU for eight years. In addition to working at UVU, Cottle also has his Master of Social Work and is a practicing therapist in the community. Cottle has been published multiple times and is currently working on a research project exploring the transition to marriage and sexuality for abstinent couples.


Alan Misbach, advanced to associate professor

Alan Misbach is an associate professor of social work and the director of field education for the social work program at UVU. He has over 20 years of experience working as a licensed clinical social worker throughout the community. 

Misbach says that one of his favorite parts of working at UVU is interacting with the students. “I’m honored to be a part of their education. Students never cease to amaze me. They’re intelligent, mature, competent, and eager to learn. It makes being an instructor a pleasure.”

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