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Student Spotlight

Krista Pollett | History Department Alumna

April History Student Spotlight Winner, Krista Pollett

Krista Pollett | History Department Alumna

Krista Pollett graduated in December 2019 with an M.A. in Public History with a focus on memory, commemoration, and African American history. Her M.A. thesis, “Memorializing the Black Freedom Movement, 1991-2018,” explores three place-based memorials that are dedicated to preserving and contextualizing the history of the black freedom struggles within their respective historical landscapes. The sites include the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail (NHT) in Alabama, and the Equal Justice Initiative’s National Memorial to Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. Her analysis of these three sites not only revealed the shifting trends in the practice of American commemoration towards abstracted monument forms and community engagement, but also how the increasingly complex historiographical trends of Black Freedom Studies influenced (and continues to influence) localized, site-specific commemoration.

While completing her degree Krista has worked for the National Archives and the National Park Service. She interned and volunteered at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Library and Museum in Austin, Texas in the Museum Collections department where she worked to digitize non-paper artifacts. During 2019, she worked in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. on various internship projects for the Telling All Americans’ Stories initiative and Park History Program Oral History Project. Krista documented a portion of her Telling All Americans’ Stories internship experience for the National Council for Public History’s (NCPH) History@Work blog with the National Historic Landmarks program national social media team, which you can read here.

In 2020, Krista will be returning to Washington, D.C. to work for the Park History Program’s ongoing oral history projects until April when she will embark on a new position as the oral historian for Zion National Park and Cedar Breaks National Monument’s ongoing oral history project.


Past Honorees

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  • 2020

    • Robert Anzenberger | February 2020 History Student SpotlightRobert’s work in archives has consisted of working with the Foreign Relations Papers of the United States, the FDR Presidential Library, and various newspaper archives. In January 2020 he traveled to London for two weeks to conduct archival work in British government archives, focusing mainly on the British Foreign Office. He also hopes to visit the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library once its renovations are complete in early 2020 to access the records of the Hoover kept regarding the distribution of food and aid to Finland in 1919, but also the records of the Finnish-American relief fund, and organization he started and led following the outbreak of the Winter War in November 1939.

      He is currently self-teaching himself Swedish, with the goal for his Ph.D. work to be able to access archives in Sweden and Finland. Access to these archives will further Robert’s research and help him paint a more wholistic picture of the dynamic geopolitical situation that Finland found themselves in during the early to mid-twentieth century. Robert’s major research goal is to highlight the importance of Finland in the larger frame of World War II, which is largely overlooked by modern scholars, and how it influenced not only US policy makers, but also explain why Finland was the only country to border the Soviet Union that maintained complete independence at the conclusion of the Second World War.

       

    • March History Student Spotlight Winner, Evaliza FuentesSince graduation, Evaliza Fuentes has been busy promoting her thesis, “Música Tejana and the Transition from Traditional to Modern: Manuel “Cowboy” Donley and the Austin Music Scene,” with presentations at the Museum of South Texas History in Edinburg over summer and also as part of a one-day Texas Music symposium organized by the Central Texas Historical Association at the Sophienburg Museum in New Braunfels coming up on Saturday, November 16.  In addition, she is now part of the Visitor Services department at the Witte Museum in San Antonio where she began in Public Programs as an interactor and program presenter.  As part of her job at the Witte, she performed as “The Chili Queen” on multiple occasions and can be seen inside the “Jacal” exhibit in the South Texas Heritage Center.  This museum experience continues to build on the foundation she received in the public history program.  A recent Saturday found Evaliza at the University of the Incarnate Word Music Industry Workshop and trade show sharing her knowledge of Texas Music history, content creation, repertoire enhancement, archival storage, and oral history, with attendees.  The future looks bright and the best is yet to come.  Her profile is available on Academia.edu:  https://txstate.academia.edu/EvalizaFuentes

       

    • April History Student Spotlight Winner | Krista PollettKrista Pollett graduated in December 2019 with an M.A. in Public History with a focus on memory, commemoration, and African American history. Her M.A. thesis, “Memorializing the Black Freedom Movement, 1991-2018,” explores three place-based memorials that are dedicated to preserving and contextualizing the history of the black freedom struggles within their respective historical landscapes. The sites include the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail (NHT) in Alabama, and the Equal Justice Initiative’s National Memorial to Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. Her analysis of these three sites not only revealed the shifting trends in the practice of American commemoration towards abstracted monument forms and community engagement, but also how the increasingly complex historiographical trends of Black Freedom Studies influenced (and continues to influence) localized, site-specific commemoration.

      While completing her degree Krista has worked for the National Archives and the National Park Service. She interned and volunteered at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Library and Museum in Austin, Texas in the Museum Collections department where she worked to digitize non-paper artifacts. During 2019, she worked in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. on various internship projects for the Telling All Americans’ Stories initiative and Park History Program Oral History Project. Krista documented a portion of her Telling All Americans’ Stories internship experience for the National Council for Public History’s (NCPH) History@Work blog with the National Historic Landmarks program national social media team, which you can read here.

      In 2020, Krista will be returning to Washington, D.C. to work for the Park History Program’s ongoing oral history projects until April when she will embark on a new position as the oral historian for Zion National Park and Cedar Breaks National Monument’s ongoing oral history project.

  • 2019

    • Kimi Deidrich | History Student Spotlight, February 2019In the Fall of 2017 Kimi Diedrich graduated with her Master’s in Public History with a concentration on historic preservation. While in the program Kimi focused on heritage and identity, and how these aspects influenced the built environment. Her thesis, Make El Paso Great Again: Correcting Alternative Memory in the Border City, analyzed the historic narrative prescribed to the Manhattan Heights historic district in El Paso, Texas and how the narrative created a prosthetic memory regarding the participation of Mexicans and Mexican Americans with the development of area. After graduating from Texas State University, she joined the Cultural Resources Program with Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) as an architectural historian.  While working for ODOT, Kimi has worked on Historic Preservation Resource Identification (HPRI) Forms and Historic American Engineering Record documents. She frequently uses her research skills to determine if sites and buildings are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

      Kimi hopes to further her career in historic preservation by implementing environmental justice practices to counter the disproportionately high and adverse effects that minority and low-income individuals face.  She hopes to bring cultural awareness through data analysis and community outreach to promote healthy and sustainable communities and equitable distribution for all. 

       

    • Kathleen G. Desormeaux  | History Department AlumnaThrough my studies in the Texas State Public History Program, I developed research interests in UNESCO, tourism, identity, and intangible heritage. These interests gradually merged into my thesis topic. The Public History Program enabled me to examine how international stakeholders apply heritage management policies and allowed me to conduct case studies for my thesis through the Department’s Study Abroad in Chester Program and as a graduate participant in UTSA’s COLFA Semester Abroad in Urbino, Italy. While abroad, I learned a variety of approaches to site management, observed resident and tourist reactions to site interpretation and utilization, and gathered a vast array of perspectives on UNESCO along with strategic uses of heritage to assist with the preservation and economic development of communities.

      My coursework, my time abroad, and research into UNESCO, heritage management, and tourism led to an internship with the City of San Antonio’s World Heritage Office. During that internship, I learned the practical application of research when assisting with the design and implementation of heritage related economic development initiatives, how US stakeholders leverage the various UNESCO programs in their communities, and how to execute community outreach projects. The internship paired with my education opened the door to becoming a contracted heritage consultant for the World Heritage Office since I graduated. Additionally, I am one of the first certified World Heritage Ambassadors for the City of San Antonio’s Certified Tourism Ambassador Program.

      Texas State’s Public History Program provided a strong foundation for me to transition into a new career field. The program grew my worldview, broadened my understanding of the complex challenges communities face over the expanse of time, and how history and heritage can help overcome those challenges. Department faculty regularly found ways to say yes to innovative projects along with readily helping students explore various opportunities within the historical field. My graduate student peers further assisted in creating an energized learning environment through regularly supporting each other and lifting one another up when moments of doubt arose. Graduate school is a rewarding and challenging journey that is so much more enjoyable when surrounded by peers, professors, and mentors who truly want to see everyone succeed.

       

    • Max Hall | History Sportlight April 2019Maximilian Hall completed his MA in Public History from Texas State University in 2017. During his time as a graduate student, he recognized the importance of diversifying his interest within the field. To explore his options he served as an Instructional Assistant for History 1320, Research Assistant for the Oral History Project, and as Curation Volunteer at the Center for Archaeological Studies.  Additionally, he completed collections management internships with the Texas Historical Commission (2015) and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library (2016-17).

      Currently he serves as the Curatorial Assistant and Assistant Lab Manager at the Texas State University Center for Archaeological Studies (CAS). His primary focus is the management and curation of records and objects for state and federal held-in-trust archaeological collections. Additionally, Maximilian collaborates with student military veterans to rehabilitate archaeological collections received by the United States Army Corp of Engineers Veterans Curation Project.

      As a member of the Texas State University Integrated Cultural Resource Team, he participates in archaeological and architectural survey projects. Recent trips have included site visits in Texas, Colorado, and Alaska. His work includes photographic documentation, archaeological excavation, and digital historic structure mapping. His experience with the cultural resource management industry has sparked an interest in the study of archaeology and geographic information systems (GIS).

      His plan is to continue working within the curation sector while gaining further experience in the world of cultural resource management. Maximilian wants current and future students to know that finding work within public history is tough and therefore striving to become a multifaceted resource of practice and knowledge is crucial. His advice is to seek out volunteer/internship opportunities, participate in workshops, and network with professionals in the field before leaving Taylor-Murphey Hall. 

       

    • Jamie Ross | May 2019 History Student SpotlightFollowing the completion of her undergraduate degree in History and Anthropology from Texas State University, Jamie Ross began the Public History program while also working on a graduate cognate in Texas State’s Anthropology department. While in the program, she focused on the intersection of agricultural labor, public policy, and the rise of convict leasing in the 19th-century United States. After graduating in 2014, Jamie worked in archives and public policy at the Department of State Health Services and the Department of Family and Protective Services for the State of Texas. She has also done work in collections management, object conservation, and curriculum development for archives and institutions across the state. The instruction that Jamie received in research, project development, and pedagogy from the Public History program at Texas State University has worked to prepare her for the challenges she has faced in each of her positions.
      Jamie is currently employed by the Texas Historical Commission in the Historic Sites Division as their Archeological Collections Manager. In this position, she works with interpretive staff, archeologists, historic site directors, and educators to ensure that all archeological collections from the 22 state historic sites managed by the THC are documented, researched, and appropriately stored. Working in archeological collections has allowed Jamie to help to provide insight into the lives of underrepresented populations which may have been excluded from the written historical record and to make space for their stories.

       

    • Emily Cecil and Jonathan Moseley | June 2019 History Department Student Spotlight In April 2019, Public History project class students Emily Cecil and Jonathan Moseley assisted the Travis County Historical Commission with a survey of Recorded Texas Historic Landmark (building) markers in the Old Austin Historic District. They assessed the current conditions of a dozen Texas historical markers, and copies of their notes will be forwarded to the Texas Historical Commission for further action.

       

    • July 2019 Student Spotlight | Scholarship WinnerIn this month’s Student Spotlight, the History Department would like to feature our outstanding students who won scholarships for the 2019-2020 academic year.  In order to be awarded a scholarship, these students had to prove they were in excellent academic standing, submit well-crafted essays, and have support from multiple faculty members.  These students serve as an excellent example of the high caliber students we see every day in the History Department. 

      Congratulations to:

      • Allison Hopson | Brieger Scholarship
      • Michel Jones | Dunn Scholarship
      • Wesley Moore | Taylor Murphy Scholarship
      • Evan Moore | Pohl Scholarship
      • Kendal Allen | Fitz-Clay-Kiss Scholarship
      • Madelyn Patlan | Kneispel Scholarship
      • Jason Rivas | Brunson Family Scholarship

      More information about History Department Scholarships can be found on our Scholarships Page.

       

    • 2019 COLA Research Expo Student ParticipantsOn May 1, the College of Liberal Arts hosted its first-ever undergraduate research expo. The expo was an all day event that featured student research from nine departments and three centers. The day included ten oral presentations and 27 poster presentations.  The History Department would like to congratulate the following students for their presentations during the Expo.

      Congratulations to:

      Taylor Moles
      Poster | "Women and Tupac Amaru Rebellion: Everyday Power put in the Spotlight"
      Mentor | Dr. de la Puente

      Sage Butler
      Presentation | "The Effects of Crack in E. Harlem." 
      Mentor | Dr. Renold

      Abigail Binetti
      Poster | "Normalcy as Resistance in the Lodz Ghetto"
      Mentor | Dr. Menninger

      Kathryn McDaniel
      Presentation | "FOSTA: the Law Fighting Sex Work Online." 
      Mentor | Dr. Pliley

       

    • Brandon Jett, History alumnusWhen I entered the history MA program at Texas State in 2009, I knew I wanted to be a history professor because, from my perspective as an undergraduate, the job looked cool, laid back, and fun. I had no idea what the job really entailed or how difficult it was to get a PhD or employment as a history professor. The great thing about the history faculty at Texas State is they are open to working with students like myself that larger programs would never (and as my rejection letters from LSU, Texas A&M, and UH confirmed) consider. Dwight Watson, Angela Murphy, Mary Brennan, Frank de la Teja, Rebecca Montgomery, Dan Utley, and Paul Hart all went above and beyond in their efforts to transform me from someone who liked history into someone who understood how historians do their jobs. After completing my MA thesis on racial violence in northeast Texas, I applied for several PhD programs. To my surprise, I received several offers of full-funded PhD programs (including Texas A&M and UH, places I was rejected just three years prior), and ultimately decided to attend the University of Florida. Since leaving Texas State, I received my PhD, published several articles (including all my MA thesis chapters) in peer-reviewed journals, won two awards for those articles, received book contracts for a manuscript and an edited volume, won a university-wide teaching award, was awarded the William Nelson Cromwell Early Career Scholar Fellowship, worked as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Rollins College, and recently accepted a position at Florida Southwestern State College. Much of my success is due to the dedication and mentorship of the faculty at Texas State University. It was there and through them that I learned how to be a historian.

       

    • October History Student Spotlight Winner, Alex LaRottaAfter completing his Master’s degree at Texas State, Alex went on to receive his Ph.D. in History from the University of Houston in Summer 2019.  He is currently a Postdoctoral Research Scholar teaching Latinx History and Black/Brown History of Rock & Roll in the Department of History at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race.  Alex’s scholarship focuses on race and popular music in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and his is particularly interested in how music can provide a historical lens into the mechanisms of racialization and reveal tensions and collaborations within communities of color.  He is currently working on a manuscript that investigates sonic affinities and cultural kinships across African-American and Mexican-American communities in twentieth-century San Antonio, Texas. 

       

    • Brooke Privette, November History Spotlight AwardeeBrooke joined the graduate Public History Program in 2018, focusing on historic preservation. In that program she obtained the skills to complete preservation projects through classes such as Dr. Dedek’s Historic Preservation and Mr. Utley’s Local and Community History. In addition to her focus on preservation, she completed coursework pertaining to material cultural, public memory, and early American Atlantic history.

      Last summer, Brooke interned at Burns and McDonnell, an engineering consulting firm, as part of their cultural resource management team. The majority of her summer was spent working on a rural schoolhouse project in North Dakota. She had the opportunity to work in the field documenting various historic schoolhouses' architectural styles, distinctive architectural features, the schools’ playground equipment, and the school’s outbuildings. The remainder of her time was utilized researching the histories of the schools through deed records, census data, and compiled local histories.

      The skills acquired from the summer internship prepared her for work on a current contracted National Park Service project through the public history department. Brooke’s current research includes accessing archives through National Archives in addition to sources not limited to but including locations at national parks. Moving forward, Brooke hopes to obtain employment with a state historic preservation office, applying the skills from her time at Texas State University and the completed internship.

       

  • 2018

    • Michelle Seiler-Godrey History Department Student Spotlight January 2018After graduating with a B.A. in History and English and a M.A. in History from Texas State University, I went on to complete a doctoral degree at the University of Iowa. The skills I learned through my history degrees have lead me to a successful career outside academia as a grant writer at the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon. This interdisciplinary museum weaves together art, science, wildlife and history to explore the High Desert region. In the past year, I have applied for over 60 grants and received over $400,000 to support everything from access initiatives and education programs to innovative exhibitions and even a gallery renovation. Since grants enable the Museum to implement programs outside our normal operations, I work closely with directors and curators to plan and develop dream projects. A good grant writer has to make a strong, concise argument for why a particular project is necessary. Therefore, I frequently use research skills to learn about the needs and benefits of each program. As a grant writer, I play a small role in programs, such as Kids Curate, which brings inspiring art experiences to underserved students, and help support the care of animals that cannot survive in the wild. A history degree teaches you not only writing and research skills, but also how to see situations from different perspectives and innovative approaches to problems—skills that enable you to uniquely contribute to your community.

       

    • Feb 2018 Spotlight - Justin BallJustin Ball earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from Texas State University in December of 2015 and entered the MA in History with a concentration in public history the following semester. Justin’s historical research focuses on the role that Texas played as a source of arms and ammunition during the Mexican Revolution and US Imperialism in Latin America in the late 19th and early 20th century. He previously worked on the design team for the exhibit entitled Land without Borders: The Comanche Range which was on display at Brazos Hall in fall 2016. Last semester, he curated an exhibition for the 2017 Texas State Common Experience theme “The Search for Justice: Our Response to Crime in the 21st Century” entitled Catching the Chain: Life and Death in Texas Prisons 1845-2017. Catching the Chain surveys the history of the Texas prison system from Texas’ early statehood to the present and highlights how and why Texas prisons have gained a reputation for being the largest and most notorious in the nation. Catching the Chain was on view from mid-October through December 15 on the first floor of Alkek Library.  Images from the project can be found on the Public History website.

       

    • March 2018 History Spotlight, History ClubThe History Club is a student organization open to all Bobcats. They seek to provide an enjoyable, stimulating space for all who share an interest in history. There are no requirements for members’ majors, years, or GPAs: any who wish to attend, can!

      History Club events occur every three weeks and include game nights, presentations, and discussions. You can find their schedule of events or more information on how to join the club by visiting the History Club website or by emailing them at txsthistoryclub@gmail.com.

       

    • Cori McDonald, April History Student SpotlightCori McDonald is a second year Master’s student in the Public History program with a focus on historic preservation. In Spring 2017, Cori was one of the leaders on the Percival Whipple Letters project for Mr. Utley’s Local and Community History class. Cori helped scan, transcribe, and research a series of letters from Percival Whipple, a soldier stationed in San Antonio during WWI. Whipple's letters provided a glimpse into life at Kelly Field at the time and uncovered a story of an eager soldier who couldn’t catch a break. Whipple's perspective may have been lost to history had Mr. Utley and his class not saved the sources and examined their historical significance. The class donated the materials to the University Archives, and after the project Cori co-wrote an article for Texas Heritage magazine that was published in September 2017. This summer Cori studied abroad in Chester, UK, with the History department and became enchanted with Dublin, Ireland’s Decade of Commemorations of their independence. She questioned how the preserved sites of the 1916 Easter Rising affect national identity in Ireland and her current research explores the politics of preservation and commemoration of Rising sites in Dublin.

       

    • Department Spotlight | May 2018 | Three Minute Thesis PresentationsThe History Department's History 4399: Research Seminar courses are the capstone course for History majors.  This final undergraduate course tests students' abilities to synthesize primary and secondary sources and use the information gained to formulate and defend their own arguments.  Students in the seminar have the chance to do original research on topics related to a faulty member's particular field of study. 

      Beginning in Spring 2017, the various sections of History 4399 began holding "Three Minute Thesis" presentations giving students a chance to present their research to the peers.  Students are given three minutes to explain, defend,  and offer conclusion to their research.  This year featured students from two sections of History 4399.  Dr. James McWilliams' section which focused on The American Renaissance and Dr. Caroline Ritter's section focusing on Politics, Society, and Culture in Britain, 1914-1997.

      Congratulations to the following students and their presentations! 

      • Daisy Robles Ramirez | Shell Shock: The Twentieth Century's Hysteria
      • Hector Soto | Social Rebellion and Herman Melville's
        Moby Dick
      • Trent Oatman | Jack London and Those Nietzschean Blues
      • Francisco Rodriguez | The Lion's Grave: The Suez Crisis and the End of Britain as a Superpower
      • Emily Trowbridge | Democratic Vistas: A Search for an American Identity
      • Jeremy Branch | Edgar Allen Pie, Sensationalist Newspapers, and the Theme of Death
      • Dane Willette | The NHS and the Idea of Consensus
      • Joshua Cartwright | The Civil War and Evolving Humanitarianism of Walt Whitman
      • Karina Gonzalez | The Massacre that Gain Independence

       

    • History Student Spotlight, Elise Leal, June 2018After earning a B.A. in Communication Studies at Regent University, Elise entered Texas State’s M.A. in History program in 2011. Under the direction of her advisor, Dr. Ronald Angelo Johnson, she received rigorous training in the historian’s craft and developed a sustained interest in exploring how belief systems – religious, gendered, and otherwise – influence culture. Elise became particularly fascinated with how these interactions shaped the new American republic, prompting her to write a thesis on the rise of a children’s religious reform movement called Sunday schools in the early nineteenth century. She also received valuable pedagogical training at Texas State through multiple semesters working as an Instructional Assistant. Through these experiences, Elise began formulating the goal of developing into the type of professor that gives every student thorough training in the historical skills required to use the past to contextualize the present, function as informed citizens within their communities, and develop the self-awareness required for being agents of positive change.

      These research interests and teaching goals animated her formation as a historian after graduating from Texas State. In 2013 she entered the History Ph.D. program at Baylor University, where she continued to hone her skills as a scholar of early American religion, gender, and childhood under the direction of Dr. Thomas Kidd. This May she successfully defended her dissertation, which analyzes the Sunday school movement from 1790-1860 to show how concepts of childhood, and young people themselves, helped transform early American religious practices while also contributing to the broader formation of a child-centric culture that persists in the modern day. Elise’s research has received grants and awards from institutions such as the Boston Athenaeum and the American Society of Church History, and her first article is forthcoming in a top-tier journal this fall. Elise also continued to develop as a teacher during her time at Baylor, and received the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award in the spring of 2017. Her Ph.D. experience was further enhanced by opportunities to expand her academic skillset outside the History Department, including two years leading the Graduate Student Association and one year serving as Special Graduate Assistant to Baylor’s president. She is excited to transition to the next stage of her academic journey as an Assistant Professor of Early American History at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington, beginning this fall.

       

    • Rachel Brown | July History Department SpotlightRachel Brown graduated in December with an M.A. in American History with a focus on Women’s, Genders, and Sexualities. She is attending Tulane University this fall to begin a PhD program in Women’s History. Her M.A. thesis, titled, “Repeal Politics: Abortion in Austin, Texas, 1965-1975,” explains the development of the Birth Control Information Center at The University Of Texas in Austin. The students at the BCIC constructed an underground abortion network in which they took Texas women to Mexico for the procedure before legalization. Her oral history analyzes how a handful of UT students filed Roe v. Wade. For more details on the BCIC, see Rachel’s article for Rewire News.

      At Tulane, Rachel is an Andrew W. Mellon fellow of Community Engaged Scholarship. She has been given the opportunity to develop a project of her choice in women’s reproductive health and implement it in New Orleans. Rachel is also a recipient of the Monroe Fellowship. Rachel’s dissertation topic will be a transnational, borderlands history of abortion. She will focus on how women travel to access abortion in the twentieth century due to the increase of laws regulating women’s healthcare.

      After graduation, Rachel hopes to work in academia or at a women’s health organization.

       

    • August History Student Spotlight - Miguel CarandangMiguel Carandang is a History Major with a minor in political science and is also a member of Texas State University’s Undergraduate Research Group. In July 2018, he, along with fellow Texas State students, presented original research at the World Congress of Middle Eastern Studies (WCMES) in Seville, Spain.

      Miguel’s research focused on Rashid Khalidi’s book The Iron Cage, and set out to examine and critique many of the book’s claims to determine if they remain true ten years after it’s original publication.

      Miguel’s presentation focused on the British Mandate Period of Palestine. Contrary to modern perception of the region, in the early 1900’s Palestine was a relatively peaceful place. Prior to the British taking control of region, there were relatively few major examples of violence in the area and Christians, Jews, and Muslims lived in relative peace compared to today. This changed during the British mandate period as riots and violence began to flare up. Rashid Khalidi claims in Iron Cage,that the British utilized tactics designed to encourage local rivalries in order to prevent the region from forming a unified opposition.

      If true, it could give major insight as too why relations between the Muslim and Jewish communities deteriorated into the conflict they experience today. Miguel’s objective was to study British policies, the motivations behind them, their consequences, and whether or not they have impacts on the world today.

      Following this research project, he hopes to graduate in the Spring to become an educator to future generations.

       

    • Allison Robinson

      Allison RobinsonComing back to teach history at Texas State has been a goal of mine since I became a student here in 2009, so I was delighted to receive that opportunity this academic year. While working on my Master’s degree at Texas State, every member of the history faculty made it their job to get involved and inspire their undergraduate and graduate students. As an IA, I watched several members of the faculty give enthusiastic lectures on American history with a genuine desire to make these required courses an enjoyable experience for undergraduates. As a graduate student, I witnessed thesis committees create a challenging yet nurturing environment that pushed their students to improve and overcome every obstacle they faced. The faculty’s dedication to their students was obvious both inside and outside of the classroom as they helped students realize their full potential and assisted them in achieving their next goals, whether on the job market or in PhD programs. My experience at Texas State further fueled my drive to get a PhD and teach history at the collegiate level. There is no doubt that I would not have had the stamina to achieve these goals without the preparation I received in my Master’s program and constant support from the history faculty at Texas State. But I think the true testament to this department is the fact that they believe in and trust their former students to come back and teach as part of the faculty. They know that our time here instilled an insatiable desire to teach and improve the college experience for all students at Texas State. I am fortunate to now be a part of that mission.

      Thomas Alter

      Tom Alter, Photograph 2018I entered the History MA program at Texas State seeking to improve my career options beyond the dead end job I had. With not knowing what to expect, I quickly realized Texas State was a perfect fit for me. The faculty is down to earth, yet at the same time rigorous in their pursuit of knowledge as they challenge students to rise to their full potential. This led me to engage in my own research of agrarian radicalism in Texas. Upon completing my Masters, with the encouragement of my professors at Texas State, I decided to pursue a Ph.D. with a focus on transnational labor history at the University of Illinois at Chicago. My time at Texas State equipped me to confront the obstacles in obtaining my degree, such as traveling to numerous archives and getting one’s work published for the first time. While working on my Ph.D. in the Midwest, I had what seemed to be an impossible dream of returning to Texas State to teach. Now that my dream has become a reality, I am incredibly happy to be teaching at Texas State with its diverse student body and accomplished faculty.

       

    • Christian Penichet_PaulAs the policy and advocacy associate at the National Immigration Forum, Christian Penichet-Paul focuses his efforts on federal appropriations, border security, naturalization and Dreamer-related issues. Christian also contributes to stakeholder meetings with congressional and federal officials, and provides analysis on legislative proposals and federal policies.

      Before joining the Forum in January 2016, Christian served as a graduate intern at the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service’s advocacy office, where he worked on issues related to refugees and unaccompanied children. He also interned at American Gateways and Rep. Lloyd Doggett’s district office in Austin, TX and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, among others.

      Christian grew up in Austin, Texas. He graduated from Texas State University with a B.A. in History and earned his master’s in American Government from Georgetown University.

      Christian’s experience as a student in the History Department prepared him for his current work by making him a stronger writer and improving his critical thinking and analysis skills, which are essential when communicating with immigration stakeholders and reviewing legislation or federal policies.

       

    • Brandon Martin | Student SpotlightHistory has fascinated me my entire life. Growing up amidst the monuments and battlefields of my hometown of Richmond bred in me a curiosity for investigating how things come to be the way that they are. A youthful desire to learn about battlefield heroics propelled me to study history seriously. From that starting point, my main focus has evolved, broadly, to center on Americans’ relationship with their government.

      I’ve always liked taking the scenic route, and as a 31-year-old senior, my college career stands as evidence of that affinity. I moved to Texas from my hometown of Richmond, VA in 2013 to be with my fiancée as she worked on receiving a Ph. D in educational psychology from the University of Texas at Austin while I attended Texas State University.

      I currently work full-time with Professional Contract Services, Inc. (PCSI), a nonprofit contractor operating under the auspices of the AbilityOne program, which works towards a general goal of providing employment for individuals with significant disabilities. I work in the organization’s IT Department, providing support to users at jobsites located all across the United States.

      I also volunteer with the organization CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). CASA advocates for abused and neglected children as they weave their way through the legal system, speaking solely for the best interests of the child at every step of the way.

       

    • “There is a bit of Texas State in my blood, though I suppose, in the course of pursuing two degrees and various mishaps on our far from level campus, there may be more of my blood there”

      Nathan Jones | History Spotlight December 2018I’ve spent a lot of time in Taylor-Murphy and, thanks to connections made with professors and my fellow students, have shaped a career in museums. Currently, I’m an Associate Curator at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. In a little over three months on the job I’ve opened three temporary exhibitions and begun to help shape the Cowboy’s direction as it moves to meet the opportunities of the present. To get here I’ve worked as Curator and Education Director at The Bryan Museum in Galveston Texas, and interned at prestigious institutions like Bayou Bend, MFA Houston and The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan. Through it all my experiences at Texas State have prepared me for the ever-changing nature of the Museum field.

      I received a B.A. in History in 2008, and except for a professor’s comment in my blue book would probably have never considered continuing my career in history. Fast forward five years to 2013 and I entered the Public History Program, still not quite sure what I wanted to do in the field of history. Thanks to Texas State I had opportunities to explore East Asian craft traditions, conduct research at LBJ’s ranch, and partner with collectors and artists to produce oral histories. I use all of those skills everyday as a curator, helping people to connect to artifacts in uniquely personal ways and ensuring that the past continues to shape the present.

  • 2017

    • History January SpotlightDuring the spring 2016 course Greater Southwest History, graduate students Savanha Esquivel, Simon McCurley, and Kristine Robb, under the direction of Dr. John Mckiernan-Gonzalez and Dr. Lynn Denton, conducted a study to inform decision making regarding the establishment of a Hispanic Heritage Research Center at Texas State University.

      The project was organized into three parts. During the first part, the team completed an inventory of existing repositories, archives, museums, and centers with research or collecting components relating to overarching term "Hispanic Heritage." With the geographic focus for the inventory defined as the Southwest region, the team completed an extensive search of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Southern Colorado, and parts of Nevada for relevant institutions.

      The team began by conducting a digital inventory of archives and collections with an indication of Hispanic content throughout the Southwest. They searched research collections in relevant universities, colleges, cultural centers, research centers, public libraries, museums, diocese, and archdiocese. Google was the primary search method to locate different research collection sites.

      All research collections with at least one collection that pertained to Hispanic heritage were included in the final inventory. Institutions with only single items but not a specific collection that pertained to Hispanic heritage were not included. Local history collections and exhibits in cities with more than 25% Hispanic population (based on 2010 census data) were included. This effort meant to identify local history sites holding potentially important Hispanic collections in collections with vague, incomplete, or inconclusive descriptors. The final inventory drew from individual and collective knowledge from each member of the team and the professors to identify institutions not revealed via the initial google searches. Every attempt was made to compile a comprehensive resource inventory.

      Throughout the search for relevant repositories, Dr. McKiernan-Gonzales provided academic literature to help the team better understand the changing temporal and geographic use of terminology such as heritage, Latino/a, Hispanic, Mexican American, and Hispanic.

      The second part of the project included a gap analysis. The team used institutions in the inventory to identify areas of existing focus and areas of omission. This analysis provided insights into different regional research emphasis and interests, shifting academic topics and trends, and resources utilized in publication endeavors.

      The final phase allowed the team to refine the raw data captured in the inventory into a final spreadsheet and complete the report narrative and recommendations. State-by-state maps of repositories were created as additional resources and analytical tools.

      The data and analysis in the final report pointed to opportunities in support of the proposal for a Hispanic Heritage Research Center at Texas State.

       

    • February History Student SpotlightStudents graduating from the History Department are required to take a Senior Seminar course where they get the chance to do original research on topics related to the faculty members field of study.  This final undergraduate course tests students ability to synthesize primary and secondary sources and use the information gained to formulate and defend their own arguments.  Our February Student Spotlights would like to highlight the accomplishments of the students in Dr. Elizabeth Makowski's and Dr. Ana Romo's seminar courses.

      Dr. Makowski's students examined the natural and man-made tragedies which occurred from around 1310 to the start of the Early Modern era, while Dr. Romo had her students focus on all aspects life and cultural of modern Latin America.  Each course requires a roughly twenty-page research paper where the students demonstrate the ability to formulate a thesis and use numerous sources to defend their arguments related to their topics of choice.  The work students do in these courses prove they have what it takes to earn a history degree from Texas State.

       

    • April 2017 History Student Spotlight Students graduating from the History Department are required to take a Senior Seminar course where they get the chance to do original research on topics related to the faculty members field of study.  This final undergraduate course tests students ability to synthesize primary and secondary sources and use the information gained to formulate and defend their own arguments.  Our April Student Spotlights would like to highlight the accomplishments of the students in Dr. Caroline Ritter's.

      In Dr. Ritter's seminar, "Politics, Society, and Culture in Britain, 1914-1997," students examine the central questions that propel the study of modern Britain examining the understanding of modernity, national identity, and security during this period. The range of their topics include the role of radicalism in 1920s feminism, the relationship between celebrities and the media, the role of race in British conservatism, professionalism of sport and the policing of football fans, and how the Thatcher government responded to challenges to its imperial rule. All together, the projects reflect the current trends in modern British history; therefore, Texas State students join scholars in the field in explaining the role of Britain in the world today.

       

    • May History Student SpotlightThis History Department awards several scholarships each year to our outstanding undergraduate and graduate students.  These scholarships serve to recognize the hard work and dedication our students have to their academic careers and the larger field of History.  Four our May 2017 Student Spotlight we would like to recognize the excellent work of our scholarship winners!

      Alton G. Brieger Scholarship | Awarded to an outstanding undergraduate History major
      Amber Ryan

      Taylor-Murphy Scholarship | Awarded to an undergraduate student for achievement and potential in the field of History
      Elizabeth Carl & Rebekah Pircher

      Dennis and Margaret Dunn Scholarship | Awarded to an outstanding student majoring in History or International Studies
      Krista Pollett

      FitzPatrick-Clayton-Kissler Scholarship | Awarded to a History Major, preferably one who is seeking teacher certification
      Shina Shayesteh

      Minnie Knispel Scholarship | Awarded to a graduate student in History, preferably one who is seeking or who already has teacher certification
      Madison Reitler

      James W. Pohl Scholarship | Awarded to an outstanding graduate student who is working on a thesis
      Rachel Brown

       

    • Lindsey Waldenberg, June Student SpotlightThis month the History Department would like to honor Lindsey Waldenberg for our Student Spotlight.

      During the spring semester, Lindsey was chosen by the History Department faculty as one of our Outstanding Graduate Students.  She was chosen for this honor due to her outstanding performance in her program and for maintaining at least a 3.75 GPA.  From here, her name was submitted to the College of Liberal Arts where she was named the Liberal Arts Outstanding Graduate Student for 2017.  This is a huge honor for both Lindsey and for the History Department and shows just how amazing our students are. 

      Lindsey is Public History student working with Dr. Helgeson.  She is currently studying segregation in African-American public housing, focusing on Rosewood Courts and Booker T. Washington Terrace, tracing their creations and changing conditions over the past eighty years.  She is also looking at the public housing's role and relevance in contemporary Austin.

       

    • History Department Study Abroad in IndiaStudents participating in the Texas State Faculty-Led Study Abroad in India this summer (July 10-28) will visit three strikingly different locations.  Students first arrive in New Delhi, the modern capital of India. The day after arriving, the group will travel by train to the bottom of the Himalayas and then take taxis up a winding road to a small, peaceful town in the foothills of the Himalayas that offers hiking, and beautiful views, monkeys, and time to get acquainted with local people. After spending a week in the mountains, we will travel to the center of India to the ancient city of Varanasi, located on the banks of the Ganges rivers, where millions of religious pilgrims come each year to bath in the sacred waters of the river and to pray. While in Varanasi, we will also visit a major Buddhist pilgrimage site where the Buddha gave his first teaching. The trip to India also includes a day at the beautiful Taj Mahal and a visit to the home where Mahatma Gandhi spent his last days.

       

    • Kassandra AvilaAfter graduating from Texas State a year ago, I joined the AmeriCorps Nation Civilian Community Corps. Studying history had taught me that the victors in a story typically sacrifice their time for others when the world needs it the most and least. So, I joined this program to figure out where I felt needed most. Since graduation, I have travelled to five different states, worked for fifteen different non-profit organizations, and completed over 1700 hours of direct community service. From rebuilding houses for victims of a wildfire to removing invasive species during the Oregon winter, I saw firsthand the beauty of direct service and the unending reward it brings. AmeriCorps brought me to a world of beautifully passionate people and unforgettable memories. Like watching the sunset over the mesas in Moab, Utah or seeing an 80 year old man move into his new home two years after everything he ever owned had disappeared . Today, I am an AmeriCorps teacher at a developing outdoor educational charter school in Eugene, Oregon that I worked for as a NCCC member. After this year, I will receive my second Segal Education award of $5,785 for past or future loans. I say, if you're not sure of what to do after graduation, give yourself a year of service with AmeriCorps. You'll get money towards your education while building your resume and life experience in incredible ways.

       

    • Brendon LarimoreI earned both of my degrees at Texas State. My bachelor’s degree and subsequent thesis, supported by Drs. McWilliams, Glass, and Mann, focused on U.S. and British History, and specifically on President Woodrow Wilson’s involvement with the creation of the League of Nations and the Mandate states. My graduate work expanded on this research, focusing on the history of the Mandate from three unique perspectives, the British, the Zionist and the Arabs who lived within Palestine before the Mandate State system was installed. Under the direction of Drs. Bishop and Glass, worked within the National Archives at Kew Gardens in London. This experience broadened my horizons and allowed me to complete my thesis “Broken Promises of the Mandate: A Study of the Palestine Mandate Society, and its impact on the proliferation of Zionism with Palestine and Great Britain.” Dr. Bishop was incredibly significant to my development as a historian, teaching me both what was expected of me, and how to succeed.

      The History Department faculty were always supportive of my research, which helped me to become an Adjunct Assistant Professor of History at Austin Community College where I teach four Sections of US History, two of 1310 and two of 1320. Throughout the years, the entire faculty showed me what it took to become a professional historian. Without them, I would not have gained the skills that allow me to pass knowledge on to the next generation.

       

    • Nick Crawford | History Student Spotlight DcemberNick received a Bachelors of Arts from Texas State University in 2014 with a double major in Anthropology and History, and is currently working towards his Master’s degree in History with an emphasis Public History. His areas of focus include Cultural Resource Management, Local & Community history and military history.

      Nick's current project includes researching individuals listed on the University of Texas Memorial Stadium Memorial to the Honored Dead. This memorial commemorates Texans lost during World War One. Designed by sculptor Hugo Villa, the memorial is situated on the University of Texas – Austin campus. Projects completed to date include creating a searchable database of over 5,100 names listed on the Memorial to the Honored Dead. Of interest to him are U.S. Army nurses and foreign immigrants listed on the memorial. This research is part of overall efforts to recognize Texans and World War One Centennial commemoration.

      Previous projects include the Cross-Town River Pathway, San Marcos, Texas with the Center for Archaeological Studies, Texas State University. This City of San Marcos project seeks to create a Bicycle & Pedestrian Transportation Corridor along the San Marcos River. Other projects include creation of a driving tour of historic bridges located in San Saba County, Texas for the Texas Department of Transportation. This effort was part of my summer internship program. The strategy behind the driving tour was to develop social and cultural histories of these bridges and the surrounding communities. This project combined his interests in Cultural Resource Management and Local & Community history.

  • 2016

    • Undergraduate Student

      Krista Pollett, Photo 2016Krista Pollett is an undergraduate studying history at Texas State University. Studying history is necessary to her understanding of different domestic/foreign cultures and political and social views; perspectives that are increasingly important to consider in the increasingly globalizing modern world. She hopes to incorporate and utilize this knowledge in a position in curation or advising. Krista also participated in the 2015 study abroad program in Chester, England. Traveling is one of the easiest ways to begin to understand a society’s culture, and being abroad in England was a great way to be fully immersed in diverse history 24/7. Her experience not only validated her decision to study History at the undergraduate level but also further set her on the path towards a graduate degree. Krista’s experience with the study abroad program provided focus for continuing her education at Texas State pursuing a master’s degree in Public History.


      Graduate Student

      Heather HaleyLiddle Graduate Teaching Fellow Heather Haley serves as President of Sigma Zeta Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta. Her historical research focuses on military history, specifically the American military presence in Vietnam and Korea. Her research and analysis of Agent Orange dispersal during the Vietnam War, with forthcoming publication in the Texas Oral History Association’s Sound Historian, serves as a chapter of her thesis and was awarded Top Master’s Paper at Texas State’s Seventh International Research Conference. In the summer of 2015, she interned at Fort Ticonderoga as the inaugural Edward E. Pell Fellow in Education, helping educators incorporate the fort’s history into their curriculum. In addition, she catalogued, processed and transcribed the Philip Skene Papers housed within the fort’s archive. Currently, Heather is completing work toward her Master’s degree in History, with a concentration in public history, and has applied to doctoral programs for admittance in the Fall of 2016.

       

    • Undergraduate Students

      March Student Spotlight Thirteen Texas State students competed at the Bilateral Chamber Model Arab League competition held in Houston TX.  Two pairs of delegates brought home honors from this year's competition, and the entire team was recognized with the "Outstanding Delegation" award.

      Carlos Ituarte and Daisy Jaimez received their own "Outstanding" for representing the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on the Economic Affairs council and first-time delegates Lauren Schmidt and Geoff Sloan were recognized as "Honorable Mention Delegates." As the award indicates, Lauren and Geoff proposed a vital amount of draft language for the resulting resolutions.

      More information on the Bilateral Chamber Model Arab League competition can be found in our news section. 


      Graduate Student

      march Student Spotlight GraduateChris Simons serves as Liddle Graduate Teaching Fellow and Vice-President of Sigma Zeta Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta. His historical research focuses on early American history, Native American history and borderland studies. His Master’s Thesis, “A Longhouse Divided: Oneida Agency, Iroquois Disunity, and the Oneida-American Alliance,” examines the cultural, political, and religious considerations that led the Oneida Indians to break with their Iroquois brethren and side with the Americans during the American Revolution. Currently, Chris is completing work toward his Master’s degree in History and has been accepted to doctoral programs at Rutgers University, University of Oklahoma, and the University of Houston.

       

    • Michael Naumann, Photo 2016Michael Naumann received his bachelor’s degree at Texas State in December 2012 and his Master’s degree (with a special emphasis in public history) in December 2015. His concentration within public history was conservation and how the National Park Service (NPS) understood their duty. His interest in the NPS,  Conservation, and Early American history led him to an internship at Colonial National Historical Park in Summer 2015,  and to present a paper entitled "Community, Conflict, Culture: An In-depth Examination of the Decisions that Impact the National Park Service" for the 7th Annual Texas A&M History Conference, using Yosemite National Park as a case study. This paper examined the conflicting nature of the National Park Service Organic Act of 1916 as it applied to Yosemite.

      Last month he was offered a paid seasonal position as a Park Guide at Colonial National Historical Park, and begins his new job April 18.

       

    • Elizabeth CarlI was raised in Austin and decided to go to Texas State because of its closeness to my hometown and therefore my family. I was initially undecided and went in as a math major, but after a while I realized that I was unhappy with that. I explored lots of other options but history really spoke to me because I have always enjoyed it. It's particularly the storytelling aspect of history that I enjoy, because there are so many stories to be told, so many viewpoints, and so many ways to tell them. It is an endless pool of stories and storytelling has always been a passion of mine, whether I'm writing the story, reading it, interpreting it, etc. When I found out there were scholarships specifically for history majors, I jumped at the opportunity, because it is no secret that college is not a cheap endeavor. I was shocked and elated to learn that I was given the Alton G. Brieger scholarship, and I am very honored to have been chosen. It is not something I take for granted and any chance to further my goals and my education is one I will gladly take.

       

    • Jonathan Manion, Photo 2016Jonathan Manion graduated summa cum laude in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and English. His honors thesis used memoirs to examine the civil rights philosophies of five civil rights activists in the 1950s and 1960s. Having been accepted into Texas State University’s graduate program for history, he will begin graduate studies in the fall of 2016. Before continuing his studies, Jonathan will serve for three months in the summer of 2016 as a volunteer at Mission Arlington in Arlington, Texas. While in graduate school, Jonathan’s historical research will potentially seek to determine the impact of Christian thought on the Civil Rights Movement in Central Texas.

       

    • Model Arab League, September 2016Texas State's Model Arab League (MAL) team is outstanding in regional and national competitions. Under the leadership of MAL presidents Meghan Blizinski and Daisy Jaimez during 2016, students debate in five councils: Palestinian Affairs, Social Affairs, Political Affairs, Economic Affairs, and Joint Defense, and--each year--our team represents the policies of a different jurisdiction. The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations organize this series of events. At these, students sharpened their skills in diplomacy and public speech; over the past seven years, Texas State has received 6 team awards, and Bobcats have received 55 individual awards.  The 2016 Nationals represent the culmination of the team's year-long preparations; during 2016, Bobcats represented the Republic of Djibouti as we interacted with students from across the US (California to Massachusetts), as well as other nations (from Cairo and Quebec).

       

    • Dept Spotlight October 2016Phi Alpha Theta is a national honor society and professional organization for undergraduate and graduate students as well as professors of history. The mission of Phi Alpha Theta is to “promote the study of history  through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication, and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians.” At Texas State, Phi Alpha Theta’s Sigma Zeta Chapter serves as both a professional and social student organization. We organize multiple brown bags (professional work shops) each semester as well as provide students and professors the opportunity to present their latest work and research. In addition to the professional tools that Phi Alpha Theta provides, the organization also coordinates social events to bring members of the history department together in a friendly as well as academic environment. Every year Phi Alpha Theta organizes a history conference in which undergraduate and graduate students present their research as well as receive the opportunity to gain comments and insights from professors in their field of study. In the spring, Phi Alpha Theta holds a departmental banquet in which the past year’s accomplishments are highlighted as well as new inductees participating in their induction ceremony.

       

    • History Club After a brief hiatus, the History Club has returned to Texas State!  Our goal is to both educate and excite our members through learning about history.  In their brief year back, the History Club has grown to over fifteen members.  They are excited to finish the semester strong and start working on new ideas for meetings and events in the future.  Come to their meetings every other Thursday at 5:30 pm in TMH 105 to meet the members and speak with someone about joining!  You can also get History Club information from their website.

       

    • History December SpotlightThe Texas State University Oral History Project is a joint archival project of the Alkek Library, the University Archives, the Center for Texas Public History (CTPH), and university administration. Through funding generously provided by the library, the project objective is to build a broad-based collection of oral histories to complement and enhance the holdings of the archives. Over the past four years, CTPH staff members (students and faculty) have conducted multiple interviews with a wide range of participants, including past presidents of the university, as well as former students, staff and faculty members, and others who have unique perspectives on the recent history of the institution. CTPH students conduct background research for the interviews and then produce verbatim transcripts for housing in the University Archives and immediate use by researchers. The students also assist with transcripts from earlier oral histories of the 1970s and 1980s, in effect extending the range of the memoirs from the middle of the twentieth century to the present. As a result, the Texas State University Oral History Project is one of the most extensive collections of its type in the state and serves as a model for the systematic preservation of institutional histories via personal memories.

      CTPH personnel for 2016 are Dan K. Utley, chief historian, Kent Hemphill, student director, and public historians Savanha Esquivel and Max Hall. Providing immediate institutional support for the project are Ms. Joan Heath, Associate Vice President and University Librarian; Kris Toma, University Archivist; Dr. Mary Brennan, chair of the Department of History; and Dr. Lynn Denton, CTPH director. Dr. Ronald C. Brown, Assistant Vice President for Academic Services, serves as technical advisor.