Nevada Humanities Awards

2013 Nevada Humanities Awards Honorees

On March 28, 2013, Nevada Humanities honors the achievements of six extraordinary individuals and organizations for their outstanding contributions to Nevada’s communities by using the tools of the humanities to strengthen and enhance the lives of Nevadans. Nevada Humanities Awards are awarded every other year.

Judith Winzeler Award for Excellence in the Humanities

Joseph N. Crowley, Reno
Joe Crowley came to the University of Nevada, Reno for a one-semester appointment in January 1966. During his time at UNR he served as chair of the Faculty Senate, as chair of the Political Science department, and then became interim president of the University in 1978. He served as president for the next 23 years until he retired in 2001. When he stepped down, he was the longest-serving president at a single institution among the nation’s principal universities. He became interim president of UNR again in 2005-2006. Under his leadership, the University experienced tremendous growth and development, including the establishment of a university foundation, expansion of the School of Medicine statewide, development of a new core curriculum in which the humanities are central, and the founding of the new College of Human and Community Sciences and the Reynolds School of Journalism. Crowley has a special interest in university sports. He served as a member of Board of Directors of the Collegiate Woman Sports Awards, on the Executive Committee of the National Consortium for Academics and Sports, and as president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Over the course of his career he has written books and essays on the academic presidency and related topics, culminating with the centennial history of the NCAA. Crowley has been a tireless advocate and defender of the humanities in Nevada, advocating for many of Nevada’s well known humanities institutions. He joined the Nevada Humanities Board of Trustees in 2003, served for eight years, the final one as chairman. In retirement he has turned to writing poetry.

Carol C. Harter, Las Vegas
In July 2006, Carol Harter stepped down as UNLV's first woman and seventh president and assumed her duties as executive director of the Black Mountain Institute, an international center for creative writers and scholars. Prior to her arrival at UNLV, Harter served as president of the State University of New York at Geneseo, and was at Ohio University, where she was a faculty member in English, ombudsman, and served as Vice President and Dean of Students and Vice President for Administration. During Harter’s eleven-year tenure as president of UNLV she created more than 100 new degree programs. Under her leadership, the university also created the William S. Boyd School of Law, the School of Architecture, and the School of Dental Medicine, as well as professional programs in Physical Therapy and Public Health and executive MBA and Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership degrees. She has received numerous national awards and was honored with a building in her name, the Carol C. Harter Classroom Building Complex. Having earned her graduate degrees in literature, and having co-authored two books on American writers, Harter has consistently brought her love of the humanities to her work. She was a strong supporter of the emerging Creative Writing Program and supported the History Department’s founding of its highly successful Minor Study in Public History. She was also instrumental in securing office space for both Preserve Nevada and Nevada Humanities. Now, at the Black Mountain Institute, she works to promote informed and civil discussion and debate among writers, humanities scholars, public officials, and the public.

Friend and Champion of the Humanities Award

Richard Hooker, Las Vegas
Richard Hooker has been a cultural practitioner for almost 30 years, and has contributed immeasurably to the Vegas Valley’s cultural landscape by improving access to the arts and humanities for hundreds of thousands of Nevadans. He was born in South Dakota, spent his childhood in Oregon, and grew up as an artist in Santa Fe. He earned his B.S. in political science from the University of Oregon and studied at L’Institut Catholique de Paris. Throughout his career he has worked for the Santa Fe Arts Council, the New Mexico Arts Division, and the Nevada Arts Council. In 2013, he retired from his position as Cultural Specialist for the City of Las Vegas Office of Cultural Affairs after 13 years of service to the City. His work for the City of Las Vegas helped define the City’s emerging downtown arts district. He oversaw or collaborated on a multitude of projects including: the pioneering 2002 Arts Map of Downtown Las Vegas; the development of the Neon Museum and the Neon Boneyard; the City of 100 Murals centennial project; the monthly First Friday festival; the 18b Arts District; and much more. Hooker was also the City’s chief liaison to the Vegas Valley Book Festival collaborative, and successfully expanded the festival’s footprint, its vision, and its audience. Although he has retired, Hooker is not slowing down. He recently opened RTZvegas, an entrepreneurial art studio, in the downtown arts district.

Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award

June Sylvester Saraceno, Incline Village
June Sylvester Saraceno is English Program Chair and Professor in Humanities at Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village. Saraceno began teaching at the College in 1987. During her 26-year tenure at the College she has built a substantial infrastructure of English and literature activities in the Lake Tahoe area and beyond. She founded the English program, developed the College’s BFA in Creative Writing degree, and established the Distinguished Visiting Writer teaching position. Partnering with the poet Brian Turner, she also collaborated in creating the College’s popular low residency MFA in creative writing. In 1990, she founded the annual literary publication The Sierra Nevada Review, which publishes the work of Nevada writers, including submissions from Nevada prison inmates. In 2002, Saraceno founded the speaker and workshop series Writers in the Woods, which has featured writers from all over the US. This program has become a cultural staple in Incline Village and has brought visiting writers into local schools. She has served as a mentor to students and emerging writers, inspiring her students to excel in their endeavors, and even to become writers themselves. Saraceno’s publications include a poetry collection Altars of Ordinary Light and chapbook Mean Girl Trips, along with numerous works in journals and anthologies. Recently, she was accepted into an artist’s residency at Camac Centre d’Art in Marnay-sur-Seine, France, for August 2013.

Outstanding Humanities Project Award

Project REAL, Las Vegas
Founded by community leaders and philanthropists, Project REAL is the result of concerns over increasing juvenile crime rates, disrespect for authority, ignorance about the law and justice system, and an overall apathy about becoming an involved citizen. Project REAL provides law-related educational programs at no cost to Nevada teachers, their students, and community partners through four grade-appropriate interactive programs. These include REAL Drama, Foundations of Democracy, Your Day in Court, and Play by the Rules. Since its inception in 2005, over 120,000 students throughout the state have participated in Project REAL programs, ultimately learning how to become a law-abiding citizen, increasing their respect for authority, and instilling a better understanding and appreciation of our laws and judicial system. Project REAL is receiving this award for its ongoing program REAL Drama, which uses live drama as a vehicle for middle and high school students to study current issues such as immigration and privacy, helping them form educated opinions about these issues.
National Automobile Museum, Reno
When the National Automobile Museum opened in 1989 it set the standard for automobile museums worldwide. The Museum teaches and illustrates the automobile’s impact on our society and its important place in American history. Recognized as a leader in its field, the Museum has been designated as “one of America’s five greatest automobile museums,” and has earned many awards, including NAAMY Awards of Excellence from the National Association of Automobile Museums and a Chamber of Commerce Non-Profit Excellence in Commerce Award, which honors business growth and commitment to the Reno-Sparks Community. The National Automobile Museum is being honored here for its ninth history symposium, The 1920’s: Barnstormers to Bootleggers. The symposium brought together scholars, the public, and local educators to explore the 1920’s through such topics as presidential history, local history, music, fashion, baseball, and of course the automobile. The symposium also broadened its impact by providing in service credit to the many educators who participated in the program.

The 2013 Award
In celebration of the creativity and sense of place our awardees have helped foster, the awards being presented tonight are original stone lithograph etchings created by Las Vegas printmaker Anne Hoff. Hoff is a professor of Printmaking and Drawing at the College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas. Her work is in several university, museum, and corporate collections, and is exhibited widely. Since her undergraduate years, Hoff has been seduced by the tactile quality and technical mystery of the traditional print. This love of surface and process are what pulls her toward traditional stone lithograph, etching, photo-film processes, and polymer films. Over the years she has spent in Nevada, she has become drawn to Nevada’s beautiful landscapes. Hoff works to bring the seductive sense of hidden places to her images through the use of complex line and sculptural form. The 2013 award prints, titled “Passage,” depict the Anniversary Narrows at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The prints were framed by Carson City artist Galen Brown.