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History | Alumni News and Spotlight

New Position for Dr. Andrea (McWethy) Hetley

 Andrea (McWethy) Hetley, who was here as a graduate student in US history from 2009-12, will start a new full-time job as the archivist for the Sisters of the Presentation in San Francisco after Thanksgiving.

The Sisters of the Presentation is a religious order that was started in 18th century Ireland.  Here is a link to a video about the history of the Sisters in the San Francisco region:

And here is a more personal view of life in the order by three older Sisters:

Exciting News for Dr. Torsten Homberger

Torsten Homberger, who received his PhD working with Raymond Sun in 2014, is starting an appointment as a tenure-track assistant professor for modern European history in the History Department at the University of Nebraska-Kearney after a number of years on the faculty there as an Instructor.

He is also publishing a revised version of his dissertation with the University of Massachusetts Press, forthcoming in November 2021.  Here is the link to his book:  The Honor Dress of the Movement (

Congratulations Dr. Homberger!

Brad Richardson Receives the David Douglas Award

Brad Richardson (B.A. History, WSU Vancouver, 2012), Director of the Clark County Historical Museum, has been awarded the David Douglas Award by the Washington State Historical Society! This award honors the significant contribution of an individual or an organization through projects, exhibits, publications or educational products  which informs or expands our appreciation of Washington State history during the year. Nominators spoke to Richardson’s leadership and the museum’s continued community engagement throughout the pandemic: “When the museum was shuttered, the work was not. The staff worked tirelessly to ensure that exhibits were virtually available; educational efforts continued; and outreach to the community did not stop.”

Good News to Share on the Work of WSU History Alumni

Three WSU History alums are direct contributors to the planning for the Nez Perce National Historical Park’s renamed Spalding-Allen Collection and related museum collections holdings – Trevor Bond, Tabitha Erdey, and Kristine Leier.

See the full story:

A Story Come Full Circle | Community & Lifestyle | Lewiston | Inland 360: Where you go for what you do

Dr. Stefan Bradley celebrated in Washington State Magazine

Dr. Stefan Bradley
Stefan Bradley, image from Working Forward, courtesy of Loyola Marymount University Magazine

Stefan Bradley (’98 MA History) was recently interviewed and highlighted in a Washington State Magazine article by Tom Kertscher, titled “Working Forward.” Now a professor of African American Studies and coordinator for diversity and inclusion initiatives at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Dr. Bradley studied with Dr. LeRoy Ashby during his time in our program. We celebrate Dr. Bradley’s success and hope you’ll take the opportunity to read more about his books and work at Loyola Marymount. You can access the Washington State Magazine article by clicking here.

U of I Professor Emeritus Katherine Aiken (WSU PhD alumnus) Earns State’s Top History Award

Professor Katherine AikenWe would like to congratulate University of Idaho Professor Emeritus Katherine Aiken (WSU Department of History alumnus) on being named as the recipient of the prestigious 2020 Idaho State Historical Society’s Esto Perpetua Award.

Professor Aiken’s research has long focused on social and cultural history, as well as on topics in women’s history and labor history. She recently spoke to current WSU Professor Raymond Sun, and offered the following fun answers to our alumni questionnaire:

One Word that Describes Me: I think many people would use the word “dedicated” to describe me. Once I commit to something, I am determined to see it through.

Coolest/Most Memorable Thing I Did as a Student at WSU: I was in the department where my father had been a major in the 1940s and my two sisters, Mary and Sally, and my brother Jerry were all students at WSU during my tenure there.

Favorite WSU History Course: I enjoyed every history course I took at WSU and was privileged to have such talented professors as David Coon, Richard Hume, Howard Payne, Edward Bennett, and Susan Armitage. My advisor, mentor, and friend LeRoy Ashby taught courses that informed my entire career, especially his Recent America courses. I taught History for almost four decades and the foundation that Washington State University faculty provided stood my in good stead. I thought of my professors often when I prepared lectures and assignments.

Most Notable Accomplishment: Being married for over forty-six years with two children and two grandchildren is certainly my most noteworthy personal accomplishment. I was the first tenured woman in the University of Idaho Department of History and the first woman dean in the liberal arts college.

Advice I would Give to a Prospective WSU Student: Enroll at Washington State University. WSU prepared me well for all my endeavors—I could not have received a higher quality education anywhere. Even more importantly, I received personal attention from faculty and staff.

After Graduation I… Worked for five years at Lewis Clark State College in Lewiston before returning to my undergraduate institution—the University of Idaho. I was a history professor, college dean, and interim provost and executive vice-president. I am an American historian; I focus on women, labor, social and cultural, environmental, and Idaho history.

Favorite Historical Movie? During this centennial year for women’s suffrage I often think of Iron Jawed Angels. However, Hidden Figures hits every target. It does a good job of setting out historical context; it illustrates systemic racism; it emphasizes women’s accomplishments and their determination; and it is a terrific example of how historians can make visible parts of our past that were invisible.


If you enjoy reading about the accomplishments of our fantastic alumni please click here to take an opportunity to look at our other Alumni Spotlight articles, as well as the alumni updates offered in our annual newsletter by clicking here!