UVU Communication Professor Awarded Bronze Medal

UVU Communication Professor Awarded Bronze Medal

Even though Assistant Professor Leandra Hernandez is fairly new to the Communication Department at UVU, she’s already making a name for herself. Hernandez was recently awarded a Bronze Medal Book Award from the Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) for her book titled: Military Spouses with Graduate Degrees: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Thriving Amidst Uncertainty.

“I was overjoyed to know that research about the military spouse experience is being recognized,” said Hernandez. “As a military spouse who has struggled with several of the same experiences as my collaborators and research participants, I’m happy to tell a small part of the military spouse experience and, hopefully, contribute to larger conversations to come.”

Inspired by her own decade of experience as a military spouse, Hernandez wanted to explore the experiences of military spouses in both career and educational contexts. In her book, co-edited by Jennifer Belding, Hernandez examines the challenges, struggles, and positive aspects of being a military spouse with an advanced degree. She shares the experiences, good and bad, of contributors from a variety of fields while providing strategies for coping with the unique challenges military spouses encounter during graduate school and when transitioning into further academic or professional pursuits.

“These spouses are making some huge personal sacrifices in their careers, lives, social status, educational opportunities, and even with their personal mental and emotional well-being,” said MWSA reviewer Bill McDonald. “Every military spouse should have access to this book and read it. I believe this book has a mission and purpose. I salute the editors for putting this all together in this volume.”    

Hernandez just started teaching at UVU this year and says that one of the reasons chose UVU was the connection she felt with the students. “When I came to interview on campus, I was so moved by the students in my teaching demonstration,” she said. “I’m really passionate about teaching and collaboration, and I knew UVU was the best fit for me.” 

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