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Chair's Annual Report for 2004-05

June, 2005 Report

Colleagues: The History Department has had an incredible year, with numerous awards and achievements behind us. There are so many successes that I realize I'd better catalog them before I forget.

  • The Olmstead Endowment granted Karen Blair an award of $7,500 to seek transcriptions for oral history interviews with retired professors from CWU.
  • Welcome to Jason Knirck, who was selected from 160 applicants for our tenure-track position in European History. Thanks to Roxanne Easley for chairing the search, with the help of Jim Cook, Dan Herman, Karen Blair, and Paulus Pimomo from the English Department. The effort to conduct interviews at the AHA in Seattle in January was a big one.
  • It will be valuable to add Maurice Amutabi to our faculty in September for a one-year post in Africa/Middle East history. Thanks to Jim Cook for chairing the search with Mike Ervin, Tom Wellock, and Louis Meng from the Foreign Language Department. Let's hope the Provost authorizes a search soon for a tenure-track line in Africa/Middle East.
  • We are pleased that the new dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, Marjorie Morgan, is an historian. Her work begins on August 1.
  • Roxanne Easley and Mike Ervin won summer research grants for 2005 from the College of Arts and Humanities.
  • Roxanne Easley was nominated by her students for a prize for teaching at the Center for Excellence in Learning. She won the prize at an award ceremony in May.

              Roxanne attended an Alaska workshop in May to further her research on Russians in Alaska. Other professors who attended conferences this year were Shirley Stephens, Karen, Jason, Dan, Mike and Jim.
  • Karen Blair won a place in the East-West Center's summer workshop on "Infusing Asian Culture into the Curriculum" at University of Hawaii/Manoa for July and August, 05.
  • Jim Cook took a class to China over spring break and will take another group in June, including MA '04 Jennifer Meyers and Teacher Cert '95 Rene Costin. Jim will then take a group of high school teachers to Southeast Asia. He made a visit there last December to explore research possibilities for his own work.

              Jim applied for a SOAR grant freeing him from teaching in autumn 05 to write grants relating to Asian studies.
  • Mike Ervin will take a group of students to Mexico in June, the first of many projected Latin American student trips. Mike became co-director (with Tony Abbott in Geography of the Latin American Studies Program and initiated a Latin American film series.

              Mike spent last summer and autumn in Mexico, with a campus summer grant and release time, conducting research on agronomists.

              Mike's suggestion for the new One Book, One Campus discussion was chosen over 70 other nominations. Start reading T. C. Boyle's Tortilla Curtain for September.
  • Dan Herman won a National Endowment for the Humanities summer research grant. He also won a place at the 5-week National Endowment for the Humanities "Redemptive West" History workshop in LA for summer 05.

              Dan was selected as the campus Phi Kappa Phi Scholar of the Year and presented their annual address on May 25.

              Dan's article, "Hunting Democracy," will appear in Montana: The Magazine of Western History in August.

              Dan devised an ambitious plan for an Institute on the Study of the Columbia Plain, with bold inter-disciplinary plans. Provost Soltz has okayed a university committee to explore this and has funded Dan's trip to investigate regional museums as models for our proposed facility.
  • Stephen Moore survived his first year of teaching and advising our many ed majors. He served as History's link to the Center for Teaching and Learning and provided methods students with the opportunity to assist Mattawa Middle School teachers to prepare their students for the regional History Day competition. Mattawa took some prizes in the spring Washington State contest at Highline Community College campus and one research paper will go to Washington, D.C.'s national contest in June. 2005 is the first time in 20 years that the state contest was not held on our campus.

              Stephen has been working with the English Department and Ed College to develop a Middle School Social Studies endorsement.

              Stephen's students participated in the creation, development and teaching of four workshops for Kittitas Valley fifth grade students who came to Central for the Teaching American History Grant's "History is Central" program on May 27. They also did a great job representing the history/social studies ed program. Thanks to Cliff Taylor, Jessica Rossi, Maggi Keegan, Heather Mitchell, Gretchen Shirley-Bellande, Meaghen Powell, Tyler Bartlett, Brian Lee and Jason Kranz.
  • Tom Wellock took a sabbatical in fall and winter and drafted a textbook on environmental history.
  • Kathy Sala won the College of Arts and Humanities Prize for best college staff member. A reception was held in her honor in October, attended by her husband, daughter-in-law and only grandchild. She took another bow at Dean Armstrong's May banquet.