FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2004
CONTACT: Kathleen McPartland
Outstanding Professor Named for 2004-2005
Professor Sarah Pike, Department of Religious Studies, has been selected as California State University, Chico’s Outstanding Professor for 2004-2005.
Outstanding Professor is the highest honor awarded to faculty at CSU, Chico. The Faculty Recognition and Support Committee recommends the recipient from a pool of high-achieving faculty nominated by colleagues.
Professor Pike received this award for her publications, which include two books, her national reputation in the field of religion in America, women and religion, and new religious movements, as well as for her exemplary teaching and service to the University.
Pike received a PhD from Indiana University in1998. She came to CSU, Chico in 1996, while completing her dissertation. Since then she has taught 14 different courses, including Religion and America’s Ethnic Minorities; Religion and American Society; Violence in American Religious History; Religion, Nature and Environmentalism in America; and Gender, Family and God.
Joel Zimbelman, chair, Department of Religious Studies, said of Pike’s teaching, “Students let us know of their appreciation each semester by the enrollments that we see in her courses. Eight challenging years of course development and hard work have paid off handsomely, and our department majors and general education students are the direct beneficiaries of Sarah’s commitment.”
Pike’s most recent book, released in summer 2004, is “New Age and Neopagan Religions in America” (Columbia University Press). In 2001, she published “Earthly Bodies, Magical Selves: Contemporary Pagans and the Search for Community” (University of California Press). The books, according to Zimbelman, “have established her as the leading scholar in these areas of contemporary religion in America.”
Pike has published six articles in professional journals and contributed substantive entries in five leading encyclopedias over the past four years. She has made nearly two dozen presentations at regional and national conferences, received nine research grants and published numerous book reviews.
Pike was elected in 2002 to chair the Religious Movements Group of the American Academy of Religion. This is a national organization of 10,000 scholars in religion, and it provides the most important and respected venue for the ongoing study of religion in American society.
“Sarah Pike is a splendid colleague-tireless in her work, accessible to students and colleagues, demanding and passionate about her work, and committed to making CSU, Chico a better place academically, intellectually and in its support for and nurturing of students,” said Zimbelman. “She is truly an outstanding professor.”