Faculty of Distinction—February 2020

Dave Nicholas, College of Western Idaho's Faculty of Distinction for February 2020
March 5, 2020

Congratulations to Dave Nicholas, College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Faculty of Distinction for February 2020. Nicholas, an Associate Professor of English, has been with the College since 2009.

“I like being surrounded by students, faculty, and books. Teaching puts me near all of that,” he said. “I like meeting and knowing my students and seeing how something as simple as a 16-week class can change them in small ways, even if just by getting them closer to their goals. Not all jobs give you the chance to actually meet and know the people your work impacts. It is very satisfying to know my efforts make a difference.”

In addition to English composition, creative writing, and CWID (Connecting With Ideas) classes, Nicholas also oversees several internship opportunities, such as Storyfort, and CWI’s student-run literary magazine, Stonecrop, published each spring.

“Dave does an outstanding job of giving students opportunities to engage directly in the literary community at CWI and throughout the Treasure Valley,” said a colleague. “He is simply and outstanding teacher. His students are routinely effusive about his approach to teaching and what they have learned in his course.”

"Dave is one of my real-life heroes,” said Joe Davidson, a former student of Nicholas. “He is hands down one of the most compassionate and hard-working educators I have ever met and is constantly trying to foster opportunities for his students. I was lucky enough to take his undergrad literary magazine class once as a student and then again as his intern, and I directly attribute the work I was able to do there and the connections I made because of it to leading to my current position as Assistant Director for Storyfort, a nationally-recognized literature festival. There are very few opportunities in the world for undergrads to work on literary magazines, let alone be responsible for every facet its production. Dave has worked hard to build that class into the amazing experience it is today. I will always look back at learning from and working with Dave as some of the greatest highlights of my collegiate career."

Nicholas was raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the The University of Utah. He went on to complete a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Boise State University, where he met his wife, Shannon.

“We were both working on graduate degrees in English,” Nicholas remembered. “Moby Dick was the course text. Can’t say we fell in love over that book, few can, but that’s where it all began or us.”

The couple has four kids. As a family, they enjoy camping in national parks.

“Sixteen down… a whole bunch more to go!”