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History | Faculty News

Dr. Matthew Unangst awarded a 2017 Bernadotte E. Schmitt Research Grant

Matthew Unangst, RCI Teaching Postdoc, has been awarded a 2017 Bernadotte E. Schmitt Research Grant from the American Historical Association to support research on his book manuscript, Geographies of Empire: German Colonialism, Race, and Space in East Africa 1884­­­-1905. Unangst is going this summer to Tanzania to complete archival work for this project.

Congratulations, Matt!

Chair and Professor Steve Kale and the French Presidential Election 2017

Plan to attend “Coffee & Politics: French Presidential Election 2017″ with Amy Mazur, WSU School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs, and Steven Kale, WSU Department of History.

The first round of the French Presidential election will take place on Sunday, April 23.

Join our experts for a discussion about the election in broader historical context, and for an analysis of the electoral system, and implications of the election itself.

Lipi Turner-Rahman receives 2017 Common Reading Excellence Award

Lipi Turner-RahmanThe Office of Undergraduate Education has chosen Lipi Turner-Rahman to receive a 2017 Common Reading Excellence Award for her outstanding contribution to the use of “I Am Malala.”

Lipi’s work has added to OUE’s consideration of this book in multiple ways–most especially through her foundational talk on women and the Qu’ran in the fall, and through her curation of the current MASC exhibit on pioneering women at WSU.  These contributions have helped WSU students better understand women in the context of Islam, and also have helped students connect Malala’s story to those of women in our own institutional history.  Lipi also, quite literally, gave the clothes off her back in providing textiles that were used in creating the promotional design that have been used throughout this year.  The Office of Undergraduate Education is grateful for her many contributions and is delighted to celebrate them!

The award ceremony will be on Monday, April 24 from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. in CUE 518.  RSVP to

Dr. Jennifer Thigpen chosen by ASWSU for Award

Dr. Jennifer Thigpen, Associate Professor of History, was nominated for the Associated Students of Washington State University (ASWSU) Faculty and Staff “Exceptional Professor Award”.  Dalvin Williams-Yarbrough and Kevin Schilling were the nominators.

Dalvin Williams-Yarbrough states: “Dr. Jennifer Thigpen is one of the best professors I have ever had at WSU. Incredibly personable, she takes the time to get to know every one of students. Within a familiar and inviting classroom setting, she would expertly draw the class in to her lesson plans with interesting topics and engaging group activities. Dr. Thigpen is also markedly organized and has an impressive eye for detail. She works with students throughout the writing process and gives honest feedback that is very valuable to one’s development as a writer. She also is very welcoming to students who visit her during office hours and makes herself available for all types of advice and guidance. She is an upstanding faculty-member and a genuine representative of the greater WSU community.”

Dalvin Williams-Yarbrough, Jennifer Thigpen, Kevin  Schilling

Congratulations Dr. Thigpen!


Dr. Roger Chan receives 2017 Learning Communities Excellence Award

Roger ChanDr. Roger Chan, an instructor in the Roots of Contemporary Issues Program, has received the 2017 Learning Communities Excellence Award from the Office of Undergraduate Education.  He is being recognized for his outstanding work in the First-Year Focus Program.  The Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE) Award ceremony will be on Monday, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. in the Smith Center for Undergraduate Education (CUE), room 518.

Assoc. Professor Raymond Sun receives ‘Honorary Cadet’ award


At a World War I Commemoration ceremony April 6, Dr. Raymond Sun received an “Honorary Cadet” plaque from WSU’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). The ceremony was to commemorate 100 years since the U. S. formally entered World War I on April 6, 1917.

Dr. Sun was the keynote speaker.  U. S. and German military antiques were on display, as were two re-enactors in their respective World War I uniforms.  Ryan Stubbins portrayed a U. S. soldier and William Safford was dressed in a World War I German Imperial Marine captain’s uniform.  For more information, see the Daily News article.


Dr. Lydia Gerber, Asia Program Director, wins ASWSU Faculty Staff Appreciation Award

An Exceptional Professor Award for the Honors College for the Fourth Annual ASWSU Faculty Staff Appreciation Awards was received by Dr. Lydia Gerber, Director of the Asia Program.

She also received an Honors Faculty Fellowship:

“Many WSU faculty members who are not housed in the Honors College make significant contributions to the mission of the Honors College. To acknowledge the contributions of these faculty, the Honors College created the courtesy title of Honors Faculty Fellow in 2015. Honors Faculty Fellows have the opportunity to apply for funding from the Honors College to support enhancement activities related to their appointment, such as developing a new faculty-led program or attending workshops and conferences related to their research or teaching. Generous support comes from the Jonas family. Honors Faculty Fellow appointments will be for an initial duration of three years; appointments may be renewed for further terms with approval from the Dean.”

Dr. Gerber also became a member of the Honors Council, the faculty advisory board of WSU’s Honors College.  This is a 3-year appointment.

Dr. Jennifer Thigpen wins ASWSU Faculty Staff Appreciation Award

Jennifer ThigpenThe Exceptional Professor Award for the College of Arts and Sciences for the Fourth Annual ASWSU Faculty Staff Appreciation Awards was won by Dr. Jennifer Thigpen.

Each year, the Associated Students of Washington State University (ASWSU) Senate puts on this ceremony to honor exemplary faculty and staff within the Cougar family.  This year, the Faculty Staff Appreciation Awards Ceremony will be held at the WSU Alumni Center on Friday, April 14, 2017 from 6:00-8:00 pm. Please RSVP to Savannah Rogers (  by Thursday, April 13th. Please include the number of guests and any dietary restrictions. We encourage you to bring family members, friends, and loved ones to this event in celebration and honor of you. Please limit to two guests. Note that hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and drinks will be served, and Dr. Mark Swanson from the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences will be speaking during the ceremony.

Univ of Virginia Professor Emeritus to Speak April 17 at 10 a.m.

Peter Onuf, Thomas Jefferson Professor Emeritus at the University of Virginia, will be visiting the Pullman campus on Monday, April 17. Onuf is a scholar of sectionalism, federalism, and Thomas Jefferson, who recently co-authored  “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs:” Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination with Annette Gordon-Reed.  Dr. Onuf will give a lecture entitled “Thomas Jefferson and the West” in the CUB auditorium 10:00-11:00 a.m.  For more information, see the program flyer.

Washington State University