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2017 – 2018 Academic Year in Review

2017 – 2018 was an exciting academic year for Social and Historical Studies. Here are some highlights:


  • In May, SHS hosted the History Major Spring Social to recognize inductees to Phi Alpha Theta and celebrate the 2018 History Paper Award winners. Recent grad Josiah Pollock was this year’s first place winner and Robbie Wood received second place. Michael Chavez Jr. and Maggie Crelling both received honorable mentions.
  • Assistant Professor Michelle Montgomery brought four guest speakers to campus for the Indigenous Knowledge and Community Conversation series. Topics included “Engineering & Indigenuity: How NASA Views Tribal Resourcefulness,” “The Story of a Tribal Liaison – Teaching STEM Indigenous Knowledge,” “Rising Together: Collaborative Support for Tribal Climate Decision-Making,” and “Indigenous Feminisms and Environmentalism: Re/Claiming Relationships and Responsibilities.”
  • Assistant Professor Stephanie Hinnershitz traveled from Cleveland State University in May to visit UW Tacoma campus, as well as give a lecture at the Washington State History Museum titled “Asian Student Labor Activism in the Early 20th Century Pacific Northwest.”
  • On May 2nd, SHS co-sponsored a presentation by University of Florida Professor Paul Ortiz, which focused on the African American and Latinx history of the U.S.
  • Fall and winter quarter, the SHS division co-sponsored 6th, 7th, and 8th grade AVID students from Jason Lee Middle School who participated in co-curricular activities with UWT students enrolled in Urban Studies and Sociology courses. Coordinated by Lecturer Tanya Velasquez, students practiced seminar skills while discussing common reading assignments about racism and the school-to-prison pipeline.

Faculty Highlights

  • Associate Professor Michael Kucher took over the role of Social and Historical Studies Division Chair. Many thanks to Associate Professor Johann Reusch for his service!
  • Tanya Velasquez and Cynthia Howson both received promotions to Senior Lecturer.
  • Assistant Professor Danica Miller was awarded the 2017 – 2018 Distinguished Teaching Award.
  • Professor Michael Honey published his book “To the Promised Land: 
    Martin Luther King and the Fight for Economic Justice.” Professor Honey also travelled a national lecture and media circuit from Atlanta and Memphis to Seattle and Tacoma before ending in Japan, 50 years after King’s assassination in Memphis.
  • The book “Identity Politics of Difference: The Mixed-Race American Indian Experience” was published by Assistant Professor Michelle Montgomery. Professor Montgomery was also invited to interview for Voice of America News and The Native STEM Research Study by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and National Center for Atmospheric Research.

THIST 470: The Material World: Art and Artifacts

T HIST 470 The Material World: Art and Artifacts is being offered this spring quarter on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:50-2:55 PM.
This writing-intensive course examines material culture; i.e. “stuff,” created and used by humans to cope with the physical world. It employs interdisciplinary methods drawing from art history, historical archaeology, anthropology, and museum studies and uses hands-on study of everyday objects as a means to understand the world around us.
Although there is a prerequisite of either T HIST 200 or T HIST 201, interested students who have taken any lower-division history course at UW Tacoma or at another college or university should contact the professor, Julie Nicoletta, at to see if they are eligible to enroll in T HIST 470.