|February 28, 2002
Volume 32 Number 11
|A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico|
In Common Purpose
20012002 Faculty Service Award goes to Emmerich
American Indian scholar, environmentalist, and mentor
of students, Lisa Emmerich has received the 20012002 Outstanding
Faculty Service Award.
Emmerich, History and American Indian Studies Program,
traces her commitment to service to values instilled by her familys
Maryland and Pennsylvania roots. Many hands make light work
was a saying passed on by her grandmother and practiced by her parents
in their family of four children. Everyone should do their part;
thats certainly a value instilled in us. As Ive gotten older,
Ive felt that more and more. All sorts of things in the world that
we have to deal with would be very different if everyone, whenever possible,
thought about what they might be able to do in addition to what they are
Emmerichs penchant for service results in a packed-to-bursting
schedule. In 2001, she served on nine departmental or campus committees,
coordinated the American Indian Studies Program, co-coordinated the Multicultural
and Gender Studies fifth annual senior Symposium, presented a paper at
the Anthropology Forum, was the Herbert Hoover symposium keynote speaker,
a CELT panelist, a docent at Dye Creek Ranch, secretary and board member
of the Chico Creek Nature Center, and stayed active in her church. She
taught classes fulltime and published articles. This was a typical year.
American Indian studies and the American West have been
Emmerichs lifelong passions. She serves as faculty adviser to the
American Indian Club/ Indigenous Students Alliance and this year received
the Myles Tracy Outstanding Faculty Adviser Award. That was a total
surprise to me, and Im particularly proud of that. As a non-Native
person teaching in this field, I depend on the kindness of strangers in
many ways, said Emmerich.
Emmerich was recently elected to the steering committee
of Phi Alpha Theta International History Honorary Society. For the past
two years, shes read dissertations for a Phi Alpha Theta competition.
She likes to read new scholarship and see what students are doing.
Its nice to be able to give people who are working hard and doing
good work recognition for their efforts.
Emmerichs support of several local environmental
organizations is based in the belief that it is important for humans to
be good stewards of the environment and to treat all living things respectfully.
It is a belief nurtured by her familys closeness to nature (her
parents are both birders), her small-town roots, and, later, her passion
for Native American history. Working with Native people and learning
from them about their connection to the earth as a living thing and not
just a pit stop for us on the way to somewhere else has really encouraged
me to become aware of opportunities for service.
For the future, Emmerich wants to expand her work with
American Indian students on campus and to become more involved with American
Indian K12 students. Its important for children to see
that theres a way that they can walk in both sides of the worldthat
they can maintain their connection to their traditional community and
that they can also gain skills and expertise in a larger American society.
Emmerichs research has focused on late-19th-century
and 20th-century topics related to American Indian women, health care
issues, and assimilation issues. She has become increasingly interested
in legal issues, specifically in the cultural impact of Indian gaming
and the way the tribal communities are coping with the changes that theyre
experiencing. Gaming is so timely, and the changes that are taking
place in tribal communities are dramatic. Its an area thats
wide open for research right now, said Emmerich.
Although Emmerich laughed at the idea that anyone in
their right mind would love committee work, she did say, Its
wonderful to be with a group of like-minded people who are serious about
getting some work done and who make the commitment to it. She said
that shes been fortunate to hook up with good people and to be taught
by them. She mentioned Carol Burr, Randy Wonzong, Glen Gomes, and Jane
Rysberg as having served as service mentors to her.
Its not like I leap out of bed every morning
and think, What else can I add to my list? Emmerich
acknowledges that her level of involvement is not for everyone. I
would encourage my colleagues, however, to find a component of campus
life that interests them and to which they would happily become involved
and stay involved. Thats where service really growswhen you
latch onto something that you find exciting or that youre passionate
about. Then you can walk away feeling good about what has taken place.
Its nice to be in common purpose with other people.
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