I'm very proud to announce that Jentery Sayers, HASTAC Scholar and Steering Committee member, has been awarded with the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders award by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. This award is given to nine students each year in recognition of their "commitment to developing academic and civic responsibility, with a strong emphasis on teaching and learning."
Jentery Sayers is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Washington in the English department, and has been a HASTAC Scholar for the past two years. He co-hosted our first forum of the year, Democratizing Knowledge, and has been organizing the University of Washington HASTAC events. He's also currently teaching Modernism Now: Digital Platforms for Studying Fiction [link goes to the course site, which is well worth checking out!].
Below is part of the UW article on his award, which you can read here in its entirety. Please join me in congratulating Jentery!
In January, Sayers attended the AAC&U’s annual meeting in Washington, DC, where he had an opportunity to participate in a panel, “Faculty of the Future: Voices from the Next Generation,” with the other eight recipients of the Cross Award, including UW colleague, Shauna Carlisle (Social Welfare). “It was a refreshing way to find out more and more people are thinking about public scholarship,” says Sayers of the event. “I want my work to be relevant to everyone and not just people in the academy.”
Sayers teaches undergraduates to blend history, fiction and digital technologies. His assignments range from having students blog, code, and write collaboratively to digitally re-animating print texts and conducting community-based research with the Boys and Girls Club of America.
“The advantage of supervising Jentery's work is that he's also teaching me,” explains Herbert Blau, Sayers’ dissertation supervisor. “He's imaginative, beyond doubt. Provides leadership, no question. He has initiated forms of inquiry that I can hardly keep up with myself.”
Fiona Barnett, director of the Scholars Program for the Humanities, Arts, Sciences, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC), where Sayers is a named scholar and a steering committee member, says, “We have all learned so much from Jentery, and he is so invested in building community both inside the classroom and out. His syllabi have been incredibly instructive to many of us, and he is always enthusiastic about sharing pedagogical strategies and experiences.”
In addition to his classes at the UW's Seattle campus, Sayers has taught at UW Bothell and Cornish College of the Arts. He hopes to demonstrate to as many students as possible the importance of blending new technologies with the humanities, a blend often referred to as “the digital humanities.”
“The digital humanities is still a new and evolving field, and Jentery is able to very clearly articulate the stakes of the field, as well as reframe its goals, aspirations, assumptions and practices,” says Barnett. “He asks incredibly sharp and pertinent questions, and asks us to join him in thinking about their implications and possibilities.”
Some may consider the content of Sayers’ classes experimental, but he believes that is what’s important to students. “I constantly ask myself, ‘How can we make things more interesting and relevant to a student’s everyday life?’” says Sayers. “I am glad to be in an English department that has let me teach my material.”