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American Historical Association’s 2021

NSU Department of History wins American Historical Association’s 2021 Equity Award

TAHLEQUAH – Northeastern State University’s Department of History was recognized for its work in recruiting and retaining Indigenous students to pursue a profession in history.

The American Historical Association named the department the 2021 Equity Award institutional winner. According to the association’s website, the award is given “to individuals and institutions that have achieved excellence in recruiting and retaining underrepresented racial and ethnic groups into the historic profession.”

“I am delighted and humbled that our field’s preeminent professional organization recognized the department’s work,” NSU Professor and Chair of History, Dr. Iain Anderson said. “It’s a testament to the dedication of our faculty, staff, alumni and community partners and, most importantly, the hard work of those students.”

Anderson said NSU faculty lead initiatives such as the Indigenous History and Literacy Project and the Center for Indigenous Community Engagement to connect campus and local communities. He added faculty members also provide mentorship, immersive learning opportunities and course content designed to engage and validate diverse experiences.

Anderson said a history profession that mirrors the racial and ethnic makeup of the country has demonstrable benefits all around. He added a diverse group of historians bring new experiences and perspectives to the table, can serve as role models for people of color and help students to develop an understanding for those different from themselves, which is an essential skill when studying the past.

“The department’s Indigenous alumni frequently take the skills, knowledge and confidence they gain at Northeastern State into the historical profession as they transition to roles as social studies teachers, public historians and graduate students,” Anderson said. “In turn, the department welcomes them back as recruiters for the programs, internship supervisors, judges at History Day, professional development participants and guest speakers.”

To learn about NSU’s Department of History.