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Alexa Sand, Associate Professor of Art History, has accepted an appointment as a RGS Faculty Fellow. This new fellowship provides a faculty member an opportunity to contribute to research and graduate school administration, and it will bring additional disciplinary expertise to the RGS executive team.

“This fellowship provides a way to bring Dr. Sand’s insight and wealth of knowledge of the arts into our decision making process,” said Vice President for Research and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies Mark McLellan. “Having a faculty member such as Sand will add depth and awareness to our discussions.”

Before arriving at USU in 2004, Sand earned her PhD in art history at UC Berkeley, with an emphasis on medieval French art and literature. Her research focuses on the intersection of religion, gender and the visual in the later Middle Ages in western Europe, and she teaches “everything from cavemen through cathedrals.”

“As a humanities scholar who teaches in the Caine College of the Arts, I bring a different perspective on research and graduate studies to the team, and I hope I will be able to contribute to the office’s strong commitment to finding connections among the arts, the humanities, and the STEM disciplines, as well as nurturing the campus-wide culture of undergraduate involvement in research and creative activity,” Sand said.

Sand’s passion for student-centered learning and commitment to undergraduate research is evident in her time spent out of the classroom. She served on the Council for Undergraduate Research as an arts and humanities councilor for six years, participating in the national effort to develop research opportunities for undergraduate students across disciplines. Her work earned the Mortarboard Society Top Prof Award and the Caine College of the Arts Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year award.

“I’m a long-time advocate of, and activist for, integrating best-practices in undergraduate research into the curriculum, so that all students get exposure to research-based learning throughout their college career,” she said. “I’ll be collaborating with Scott Bates (Associate Vice President for Research) in the excellent work he is already doing in this area.”

Sand’s accolades include the AAUW American Fellowship for Publication, the ACLS Charles Ryskamp Fellowship, the Gilbert and Ursula Farfel Fellowship at the Huntington Library and a Paul Mellon Senior Visiting Fellowship at the Center for the Advanced Study of the Visual Arts.

“Sand brings to this role her experience with various RGS programs, a warm and engaging personality and excellent academic credentials,” McLellan said. “She has a genuine caring for programs that support graduate training as well as a full and meaningful understanding of the breadth of research including the social sciences, the arts and the fine arts.”

—Manda Perkins, RGS Communications