Today@Sam Article

First Honors Teaching Faculty Member Named in the Elliott T. Bowers Honors College

Sept. 10, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton

Dr. Littlejohn accepting history professor awardStory By Becca Broaddus

Jeffrey L. Littlejohn, professor of history in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS), has been named the first teaching faculty member in the Elliott T. Bowers Honors College at Sam Houston State University.

Although the Honors College has many faculty members who are actively engaged in programming every semester, from teaching seminars to leading studies abroad and field studies to directing Honors theses, the college does not have its own faculty line. Now, Honors is working to create a number of teaching faculty member positions that will give Honors students another way to work closely with faculty. This position is vital to the growth of the college as enrollment in this area has doubled since 2015, growing from 352 students to nearly 800.

Dr. Littlejohn with history awardAccording to Elliott T. Bowers Honors College Dean Kimberly Bell, the duties of the newly created Honors teaching faculty position will include teaching seminars, offering students opportunities for hands-on research, and working with them on student publications and conference presentations. The Honors teaching faculty member is also tasked with serving as a liaison between their home college and Honors.

“Because of his involvement in Honors with teaching seminars, publishing in Honors journals, and presenting with Honors students at conferences, Littlejohn was the perfect candidate to pilot our new program,” Bell said. “When we approached him about it, he was also excited about the prospect of working with his department and CHSS on recruitment efforts.”

Littlejohn in the classroomIn this new role, Littlejohn will emphasize student participation in the creation of research-based websites, like Lynching in Texas, the Lone Star and the High Court, and East Texas History, in addition to helping students publish their academic work in print. Littlejohn’s research focuses on race, gender, and violence in Texas, and his classroom topics range from recent Texas legislative decisions to the Black Lives Matter movement. This past May, he and history professor Kristin Henze took Honors students on a tour of Southern civil rights sites.

“I’ve been doing this for a while, but I want to see the Honors College grow,” said Littlejohn, who has taught the college’s online seminar for the past three years. “It’s not only about teaching, but enriching students’ academic experiences. I really want to see more classes at Sam Houston State that take advantage of online opportunities, take advantage of places for students to publish, and support the Undergraduate Research Symposium too. Students can do things beyond the classroom.”

Each Honors teaching faculty member will serve a three-year term. Budget allowing, the college hopes to recruit (by open application) and retain a faculty member from each college in this role as the college continues to grow and support student needs.

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