CCU’s Clary receives 2022 Eugene Asher Award for Distinguished Teaching
“None of this would be possible without my incredible students at CCU,” said Clary. “I was nominated for this award by four former students, one of my community partners I’ve worked closely with in partnership with my classes, and one of my colleagues. Students and learning are the cornerstone of higher education, and teachers should never forget that. My students are the best part of my job, and it is a joy and a privilege to be in the classroom with them each day; they teach me so much.”
Clary’s recent work included collaborating with CCU students and Carolyn Dillian, professor and associate dean in the Spadoni College of Education and Social Sciences, along with the Waccamaw Indian People and the Horry County Museum, on an exhibit titled “Waccamaw Indian People: Past, Present, Future.” The exhibit won a 2022 American Association for State and Local History Award of Excellence and a 2022 Society for American Archaeology Outstanding Public Archaeology Initiative Award.
The Waccamaw Indian People, whose traditional lands include Horry County, S.C., are a state-recognized tribe with cultural traditions that reflect a unique past. The project entailed the creation of an exhibit and educational material that highlight the Waccamaw Indian People’s culture and history. CCU students and faculty members, in partnership with the Horry County Museum and the Waccamaw Indian People, used oral histories, historical archives, photographs, personal belongings, and collections to build an exhibit at the museum that introduced the rich and diverse Native American history and culture of Horry County through community-driven interpretive text and interactive displays.
Clary teaches history and public history at CCU. She works closely with community organizations to preserve and interpret the past. Her research includes the ethics and historical contexts of human remains in museums, dark tourism and ghost tours at historic sites, and the roles death plays, broadly, in the museum and public history worlds. Clary is also interested in the history of museums, museum administration, digital histories, and community engagement.
Clary earned a bachelor’s in history from Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), a master’s in history from the University of Memphis, and a Ph.D. in public history from MTSU.
Established in 1986, the Asher Award is named after the late Eugene Asher, who was a leading advocate for history teaching. The Society for History Education shares with the AHA sponsorship of the award. It recognizes outstanding teaching and advocacy for history teaching at two-year, four-year, and graduate colleges and universities.