Michael Evans has been named Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Unity College in Unity, Maine, the first college in the United States to announce a focus on sustainability science.

Evans, a Fulbright Fellowship winner, most recently served as Interim Dean of the Indiana University School of Journalism at Bloomington and Indianapolis, Indiana.

“As Unity College continues on its path to achievement in service to its strong environmental mission, the addition of Michael Evans will provide further human capital to express the full-measure of its potential,” said President Stephen Mulkey.  “We are delighted to welcome Dr. Evans to this committed community of environmental problem solvers.  He is an individual with the energy, insights, and experience necessary to help the College not only reach important goals in service to its mission, but in so doing, provide a template for higher education to follow as it seeks to transform in service to solving the significant environmental problems of the 21st century.”

Evans will assume his post in July 2013 at an important time in the history and development of Unity College, an environmental college founded in 1965 that has expressed aspirations to attain a place on the national stage, weighing in on the most fundamentally important environmental issues facing the planet.

In 2012, Unity College, which has the tagline America’s Environmental College, became the first college in the United States to adopt sustainability science as its guiding framework.  Sustainability science as defined by the National Academy of Sciences has been widely recognized as the leading edge of 21st century environmental problem solving, including the mitigation of global climate change.  This approach with its focus on transdisciplinary (collaborative) environmental problem solving informs all parts of the College.

“Michael Evans is a writer, scholar and an academic leader with a proven track record of success,” noted Dr. Melik Peter Khoury, Senior Vice President for External Affairs. “His collaborative approach to problem solving and ability to articulate bold, creative visions to address broad issues of the day are qualities that will enhance Unity’s senior leadership team.”

Among Evans’ teaching awards and honors is the Frederick Bachman Lieber Award for excellence in teaching, Indiana University’s (IU) oldest and most prestigious teaching award.  This is a system-wide award given to one person out of more than 4,000 faculty members from all schools and departments on all eight IU campuses.

He is a 2004 and 2010 winner of the Gretchen Kemp Award, the top teaching award given within the IU School of Journalism; the Trustees Teaching Award for excellence in teaching; a three time teaching excellence recognition award recipient from the IU School of Journalism and one from the IU Folklore Institute, among other awards.

An avid writer, Evans is author of The Layers of Magazine Editing, a textbook on magazine editing published in 2004 by Columbia University Press.  He also the author of Island Wars, published by Down East Press and serialized on the downeast.com website in the summer of 2011; and 68 Knots, published by Tanglewood Press in 2008 and released in paperback in 2009.

His scholarly work is far ranging and diverse, including published papers, book chapters and reviews, video and museum reviews, articles on a variety of subjects, and conference presentations.

In 1998, Evans was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to study the expression of Inuit culture in Arctic Canada through Inuit-made video productions.

In the field of journalism, Evans held a variety of positions including serving as Managing Editor for Western Massachusetts Magazine of Northampton, Massachusetts; Regional Editor for the Daily Hampshire Gazette also of Northampton, Massachusetts; and as a Syndicated Columnist / Founder and Editor of Finders.

Evans has also served as an Associate Professor for the IU School of Journalism at Bloomington, and was appointed to the IU faculty in 1999.  He is a member of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication; the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication; American Folklore Society; International Communication Association; and Native American Journalists Association; among others.

He holds a Ph.D. in Folklore and Ethnography from Indiana University, Bloomington; a Master of Arts from Indiana University, Bloomington; and a Bachelor of Arts, double major in English (American literature) and Philosophy.

In recent years Unity College has gained national attention for a variety of achievements including: its focus on sustainability science, the leading-edge of 21st century ecological problem solving and the vanguard in the fight for the mitigation of global climate change; its ground-breaking “green” innovations such as the award-winning TerraHaus, the first student residence on a college or university campus built to the Passive House standard, the most energy efficient building standard in the world; and for being the first college in the United States to divest from investments in fossil fuels, igniting a growing national movement in higher education.

Unity College is a private college in rural Maine that provides dedicated, engaged students with a liberal arts education that emphasizes the environment and natural resources. Unity College graduates are prepared to be environmental stewards, effective leaders, and responsible citizens through active learning experiences within a supportive community.

Monday, April 15, 2013