Martha Bradley-Evans, senior associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of the Office of Undergraduate Studies, is the 2020 recipient of the Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence.
This is the University of Utah’s highest faculty accolade. The $50,000 cash award is presented annually to a faculty member who transcends ordinary teaching, research and administrative efforts. A group of distinguished faculty members on the Rosenblatt Prize Committee recommends esteemed colleagues for consideration and President Ruth V. Watkins makes the final selection.
“Dr. Bradley-Evans is beloved on this campus by her peers and students alike and for good reason,” said Watkins. “She has led many of our most important student initiatives, all aimed at ensuring every student has an exceptional educational experience and succeeds in their pursuit of a degree. Her scholarship on Mormon history and culture, which she has maintained despite filling numerous administrative positions, is world-class. Dr. Bradley-Evans is a catalyst for positive change, and we are deeply appreciative of all she has done for the U.”
Meet Martha Bradley-Evans
Bradley-Evans showed both her resiliency and her determination in raising six children while also pursuing an academic career and experiencing significant personal tragedy. Decades later, as many as 10,000 students have benefited from her persistence, the student experience at the U bears her indelible mark and the understanding of Mormon history is forever deepened.
At the U, Bradley-Evans has filled many academic and administrative roles: LEAP instructor, professor in the College of Architecture+Planning, dean of the Honors College; and, currently, dean of the Office of Undergraduate Studies and senior associate vice president for Academic Affairs.
Bradley-Evans transformed the Honors Program into the Honors College and, while dean of the college, raised nearly $7 million, increased student participation from 900 to 2,569 and laid the foundation for the Marriott Residential Housing Community.
As several nominators noted, Bradley-Evans has put her heart and soul into the U with a deep, lifelong commitment to students. “Martha is not only a brilliant academic, but also a gifted and empathetic teacher and mentor who has bettered the lives of many,” one former student wrote.
In Bradley-Evans’ service to her colleagues, she has proven to have “an endless capacity for mentoring and supporting those around her,” which has allowed transformational programs to emerge and thrive.
Bradley-Evans led the creation of numerous programs dedicated to enhancing student success and degree completion. Among them: the LEAP program, the Student Success and Empowerment Initiative, the Praxis Lab, the Dream Center, the BlockU program, the Sophomore Rise and exceptional educational experience initiatives, the Inclusive Excellence and Engagement offices and the Transfer Pathways project.
Through these and other programs and initiatives, Bradley-Evans played a major role in the U’s increase in graduation rates, now at 70%, and its retention of students between the freshman and sophomore years.
“Martha is always thinking of students and ways to maximize opportunities for them,” one nominator said. “Her footprint on this campus will be evident for years to come.”
Her excellence in the classroom has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Distinguished Teaching Award, the University Professorship, the Student Choice Excellence in Teaching Award, the Bennion Center Service Learning Professorship and the Sweet Candy Distinguished Honors Teaching Award.
While teaching and serving as an administrator, Bradley-Evans has continued to be a prolific scholar. She has published 12 books, among them “Kidnapped from that Land: The Government Raids on the Short Creek Polygamists,” “The Four Zinas: Mothers and Daughters on the Mormon Frontier” and “Pedestals and Podiums: Utah Women, Religious Authority and Equal Rights.” She also has published dozens of journal articles and made more than 100 presentations on cultural and historical aspects of Utah and Mormonism.
Bradley-Evans is a “woman for all seasons” who has engaged in pathbreaking scholarship while showing remarkable courage, personal integrity, perseverance and drive,” said one nominator.
Bradley-Evans has shaped the campus landscape in tangible ways, contributing to efforts that resulted in preservation of multiple university properties, including the Honors Center at Fort Douglas and the Sterling W. Sill Center.
She also has provided professional service to such entities as Preservation Utah, the Communal Studies Association and several academic presses.
“Martha models the crucial and creative intersection of heart and head, an evangelical sense of responsibility for lifting students to realize the best in themselves and a multi-decade love affair with the U,” one nominator wrote. “She has been instrumental in many of its most innovative and far-reaching undergraduate programmatic achievements.”
Bradley-Evans receive a bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Utah. She received a master’s degree in American history, with a minor in architectural history, from Brigham Young University and a doctoral degree in American history, with minor fields in community and architectural history, from the University of Utah.
About the Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence
The Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence is an endowed award, given annually to a member of the faculty at the University of Utah, “to honor excellence in teaching, research and administrative efforts, collectively or individually, on behalf of the university.”
The endowment was created to honor Nathan and Tillie Rosenblatt, on the centenary of their immigration to Utah, and in recognition of their legacy of civic leadership and generosity. Originally established in 1983, the award was later increased by Joseph and Evelyn Rosenblatt and their family. The endowment and its gifts ensure the annual award of $50,000.
Click here to learn more about the Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence.
Brooke Adamssenior news writer, University Marketing & Communications