The Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence is given annually to a WSU Vancouver faculty member whose research quality and quantity are exemplary, and whose work has had a positive influence on the broader community. It is the university’s highest research honor.
Professor of History
Candice Goucher joined WSU in 2000 after serving as chair of the Black Studies Department at Portland State University. Her research on Africa and the African diaspora is consistently creative, cutting-edge and interdisciplinary, combining the theories and methods of history, archaeology, ethnography, art history, ecology and chemistry.
Her many outstanding books, films and articles explore African foodways, metallurgy, and popular and political culture, from Ghana to Guyana and Togo to Trinidad, as well as global themes in world history. For example, she studies how European, African and Asian foods and culinary traditions came together in the islands of the Caribbean and then dispersed throughout the world as part of globalization.
An exceptionally productive scholar, in just the last five years Goucher has published four books (in five volumes), four journal articles, six invited chapters in books, edited a special issue of a scholarly journal, created a blogsite, contributed 31 short essays and/or encyclopedia articles to various publications, and curated two exhibitions.
Her work has been recognized with honors and awards from numerous organizations, including the World History Association, the Society for Visual Anthropology, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Huntington Library, which named her a Trent R. Dames Fellow in the History of Civil Engineering in 2014/15, in support of a forthcoming project, Memory of Iron, a history of African ironworking in the Atlantic world. Her 2014 book “Congotay! Congotay!” won both the National and the World Gourmand Awards for Best Book on Caribbean Food.
In the classroom, Goucher has been instrumental in shifting the teaching of world history from an outdated rise-and-fall-of-civilizations approach to a more engaged thematic approach to the past, which makes it possible to see contemporary global and environmental issues borne of history. Her online multimedia project Bridging World History (with 26 videos) has been viewed on public television stations and classrooms in nearly every state.
In addition, she has made significant contributions to the WSU Vancouver campus. She has played a visionary role in advancing equity and diversity on campus and in mentoring diverse faculty across disciplines. She is one of the founders of the Center for Social and Environmental Justice, an initiative for WSU Vancouver faculty to collaborate across disciplines.
Trained as a historian and archaeologist, Goucher holds a master’s degree in art history and archaeology from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in African history from the University of California Los Angeles.
Related: Office of Research and Graduate Education