KEARNEY — University of Nebraska at Kearney English professor Susan Honeyman was honored Friday with the Leland Holdt/Security Mutual Life Distinguished Faculty Award.
Presented each year during winter commencement, UNK’s most prestigious faculty award recognizes an outstanding teacher-scholar for their achievements in education, research and service. The award, which also honors alumnus Leland Holdt and commemorates his many years of leadership at Security Mutual Life, comes with a $5,000 stipend.
“Since her arrival at UNK in 2002, professor Honeyman has consistently proven herself as an outstanding scholar, inspiring teacher and mentor and supportive colleague,” said UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen.
Described as a “shining star” by her colleagues in the UNK Department of English, Honeyman is an internationally recognized and respected scholar in her field of childhood/youth studies.
She has published four books and currently is working on her fifth. Her first book, “Elusive Childhood: Impossible Representations in Modern Fiction,” made Choice’s list of Outstanding Academic Titles. Fifteen of her articles or book chapters and more than a dozen book reviews and reference works have been featured in prominent journals.
Honeyman’s work has won her accolades and references at national and international conferences, including those at which she presented.
The UNK professor was accepted into Leiden Law School’s Summer School in International Children’s Rights, and she received the Children’s Literature Association’s Honor Article award. She recently was awarded a grant for collaborative research at the University of Verona in Italy, where she will be in residence next fall.
A respected and popular classroom teacher, Honeyman consistently receives superior evaluations from students, who say her teaching style inspires critical thinking in a way that’s both engaging and challenging.
“Susan’s teaching and mentoring abilities provoke awe and inspiration for many of us,” her colleagues wrote in a letter supporting Honeyman’s nomination for the faculty award.
Honeyman received the Pratt-Heins Award for Teaching in 2013, Mortar Board’s Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching in 2005 and 2016, and the College of Fine Arts and Humanities Faculty Mentor Award in 2012. She co-sponsored the Sigma Tau Delta English honor society for a decade and has served as a mentor for numerous undergraduate research projects, student publications and presentations and graduate theses.
Honeyman generously shares her time, expertise and enthusiasm while serving students, her department, UNK and her profession, Kristensen said.
Within the past year, she served as an associate dean in the newly created College of Arts and Sciences and launched an interdisciplinary book series, “Cultures of Childhood,” through the University Press of Mississippi. Throughout her UNK tenure, she’s been an active, contributing member of many professional organizations, committees and councils, including the Nebraska Humanities Council and Children’s Literature Association.
Honeyman’s colleagues call her a caring faculty member who creates a welcoming environment in the English department.
“Her work has served as an inspiration to many of us and her mentorship and guidance have helped propel us forward in our own careers at UNK,” they wrote.
Title: Professor of English
Years at UNK: 18
Education: Bachelor of Arts, English, University of Kansas, 1989; Film and comparative literature, University of Hull (England), 1990; Master of Arts, English, University of Kansas, 1993; Doctorate, English, Wayne State University, 2001.
Research interests: Childhood studies, youth literature and politics, cultural studies, folklore, comics.
Teaching specialties: Children’s literature, literature for adolescents, principles of literary criticism, queer literature, graphic novel.
Published books: “Perils of Protection: Shipwrecks, Orphans, and Children’s Rights,” University Press of Mississippi, 2019; “Child Pain, Migraine, and Invisible Disability,” Routledge, 2017; “Consuming Agency in Fairy Tales, Childlore, and Folkliterature,” Routledge, 2010; “Elusive Childhood: Impossible Representations in Modern Fiction,” Ohio State University Press, 2005.