News and Announcements

Political science alumna named portfolio manager, vice president of Oakline

Vertical Capital Income Fund (VCIF) and Oakline Advisors, LLC, adviser to the Fund, announced today that the Fund's Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Treasurer and Portfolio Manager has announced his retirement effective today. Oakline's Senior Vice President Katherine Hawkins will assume the role of Portfolio Manager and Oakline's Vice President/Senior Controller.

Hawkins began her career with a Dallas investment bank developing a RMBS and whole loan trading desk which purchased over $5 billion in product during her tenure. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science from Texas Woman's University.

Radio stations across Texas air segment on Katherine Landdeck's new book

For more than 25 years, Katherine Sharp Landdeck, PhD, has been completely enamored with the story of the female pilots of World War II. Landdeck, a pilot herself and a professor of history at Texas Woman’s University, has written a book that tells the personal stories of “The Women With Silver Wings.” A Texas Standard radio segment featuring Landdeck and her book aired earlier this month on NPR affiliate stations across the state.

TWU’s first graduate Student Regent finds a voice for herself, others

Now in pursuit of a master’s degree in political science, Dawna-Diamond Tyson holds, arguably, TWU’s highest student role: Student Regent. She is the first graduate student in TWU history to hold that post. While not a voting member, she acts as a voice for students on the Denton, Dallas and Houston campuses to TWU’s Board of Regents and represents TWU at the highest levels within Texas higher education. 

A new way to serve

A Navy veteran is using her military experience to advocate for veterans, women and minorities 

Enlisting in the military was an easy choice for Chanel VanHook ― sort of.

Parker Hevron featured in 2020 DRC elections story

Associate professor of political science Parker Hevron, Ph.D., was quoted in a Nov. 4 Denton Record-Chronicle story, “Local professors talk Biden lead, Trump legal challenges in 2020 election.” He was the first of four political scientists in academia to be featured in the article.

Christina Bejarano featured in 'Economist' article about the role of Latino men in Trump campaign

Mr. Trump's outsized support among Latino men does not spring from some imported macho yearning for a caudillo. Rather, it is a sign that Latinos are succumbing to American electoral quirks as they integrate. While Latino parents prescribe to girls a social role early on, boys are "left more to their own devices", says Christina Bejarano, PhD, of Texas Woman's University. Latinas are more likely to go to university, vote, volunteer and naturalise as American citizens.

TWU's Kate Landdeck featured on 'Stuff You Missed in History Class' podcast

Associate professor of history Katherine Sharp Landdeck, PhD, provided her expertise on the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) of WWII on a recent episode of the "Stuff You Missed in History Class" podcast. She spoke about her new book as well as Jacqueline Cochran, who was an incredible pilot, and one of the driving forces behind the WASPs. 

Mission to create change drives Fiama Villagrana-Ocasio's passion

If student activism had a name, it would be Fiama Villagrana-Ocasio. Fiama came to Texas Woman’s University last year with an initial goal to become a bilingual audiologist. That quickly changed.

“I found that by being able to create change systematically, I could make an impact on a broader scale instead of on an individual level,” she said, explaining why she is now majoring in political science with Spanish/philosophy minors and plans to go to law school. “Being a voice for many people in my community pushed me to learn more about different challenges others may face that are different than mine.”

Alumna and U.S. District Judge Alia Moses ('83) attributes early career success to Jim Alexander's mentorship

Since she was appointed as the first female federal judge in the Western District of Texas nearly 18 years ago, U.S. District Judge Alia Moses has presided over roughly 1,000 criminal and civil cases a year. Moses recalls a mentor of her own at TWU, whose guidance and advice helped her chart her legal career.

That mentor was one of her government professors, Jim Alexander, PhD, who not only advised her on career decisions but actually helped secure a spot for her to take the law school entrance exam. He also created a barrister’s club at TWU, which brought in law school recruiters to visit with prospective students. She remains in contact with Alexander to this day.

“It’s amazing how God puts these mentors in your life. I wonder if they realize what kind of impact they are having on you when they are your mentors,” Moses said.

Clare Brock discusses the complex relationship between church and politics in DRC article

Clare Brock, PhD, a political science professor at Texas Woman’s University, said churches often function as community centers and open their doors for local discussions of legislation and social justice issues. When people think a church has violated the Johnson Amendment, they expect the federal government to act. 

Professor and Chair Jon Olsen weighs in on German politics in 'The Linke’s Search for Leadership – and Direction'

"The Left Party faces many challenges if it hopes to play a decisive role in the next decade of German politics," writes Jon Olsen in an article for the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.

Governor Abbott appoints TWU alumna to 385th Judicial District Court

Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Leah G. Robertson as Judge of the 385th Judicial District Court in Midland County for a term set to expire on December 31, 2020, or until her successor shall be duly elected and qualified. Robertson of Midland is an Of Counsel attorney at Ward & Myers, LLP. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the Midland County Bar Association and a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. Robertson received a Bachelor of Science in Government from Texas Woman’s University and a Juris Doctor degree from Texas Tech University School of Law.

TWU students tapped for civics leadership forum

TWU students frequently strive to make a difference in their communities, and two undergraduates are going to do just that after being selected as Texas Civic Ambassadors (TCAs) by the New Politics Forum at the University of Texas at Austin. This prestigious program provides opportunities for college students destined for civic leadership.

History alumna named coordinator of Ector ISD postsecondary education

As part of an initiative to help high school graduates enroll in college and get through it, Ector County ISD has named Elizabeth Gray coordinator of postsecondary education. Gray previously served as the coordinator for the Advancement Via Individual Determination program for Odessa Collegiate Academy. Gray earned her bachelor’s degree in history from Texas Woman’s University, her master’s in professional education from University of Texas Permian Basin, and is now studying mechanical engineering with an aerospace focus at UTPB.

Criminal justice alumna Cortnie Webb promoted to Celina PD sergeant

The Celina Police Department has announced the promotion of Cortnie Webb to sergeant. Webb, who holds a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from TWU, brings six years of progressive experience to her new position. She spent a combined three-and-a-half years as a patrol officer in Sherman and Celina, and almost three years as a detective in Celina.

Governor taps political science major Tyson as TWU student regent

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has selected Dawna-Diamond Tyson of Frisco as the student representative on the Texas Woman’s University Board of Regents. Tyson, who earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from TWU, is currently pursuing her master’s degree in political science at the university.

Kate Landdeck's new book featured in CBS News segment

Katherine Sharp Landdeck's 'The Women with Silver Wings' now available

Associate professor of history Katherine Sharp Landdeck’s new book, "The Women with Silver Wings: The Inspiring True Story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II," is available today in audio, ebook and hardcover formats.

More than 1,100 women from across the nation earned their silver wings under perilous conditions, and many of these unsung heroes are telling their stories for the first time. From debutantes to Pearl Harbor survivors and from housewives to first female pilots to break the sound barrier, Landdeck has delved deep into the lives of these incredible women.

Listen to Landdeck’s interview with Krys Boyd on KERA's Think>>

Take a 'Moment for History'

Join TWU professor of history and Phi Alpha Theta president, Jacob Blosser, Ph.D., as he recounts facts, birthdays, historical events and inspirational quotes from this day in world history.

Stachia McGee

TWU political science major Stachia McGee on the steps of Capitol Hill

TWU’s Stachia McGee chosen for selective Congressional Black Caucus Foundation internship

Stachia McGee is now one of only 15 students selected through a highly competitive application process for a prestigious Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Emerging Leaders internship this spring in Washington, D.C. She is the first TWU student to earn a place in the program, which aims to address the underrepresentation of African Americans among professional staffers on Capitol Hill.

Read Stachia's full story...

Jamison Lecture to feature ‘The Hate U Give’ author, ‘Hope Nation’ editor

Angie Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of “The Hate U Give,” and Rose Brock, Ph.D., editor of “Hope Nation: YA Authors Share Personal Moments of Inspiration,” will speak at Texas Woman’s University’s fifth annual Jamison Lecture, beginning at 7 p.m., March 5. The lecture, titled “The Power of Books: Inspiring Hope and Fighting for Social Justice,” will take place in the new Hubbard Hall Student Union auditorium on TWU’s Denton campus.

Texas Woman’s history professor elected president of national honor society

Texas Woman’s University history professor Jacob M. Blosser, Ph.D., was elected president of Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society at the society's biennial national convention in San Antonio Jan. 4. Blosser is the youngest-elected president in the society’s history.

TWU history alumna Elizabeth Gray wins teaching excellence award

Odessa Collegiate Academy AVID coordinator and teacher Elizabeth Gray recently won a National Society for Leadership and Success Award for excellence in teaching. Gray graduated from Texas Woman’s University in Denton with a bachelor’s degree in history.

TWU's Kate Landdeck featured in 'War changes everyone'

"They gave it all because they needed to give it all," said Katherine Landdeck, associate professor of history at Texas Woman's University, but they would likely make the point that they were "just ordinary people." She said a gift of getting to know these veterans is realizing "they make mistakes and they are very human," not "heroes on a pedestal." And she said this may inspire others to realize that maybe they too - if pressed - can "stand up and do the right thing."

TWU community learns firsthand about women in politics from experienced office holders

TWU students, faculty and staff learned the creative ways women get involved in politics to make a positive difference in their communities with Pioneering Politics: How Far Have We Come? on November 13.

Kate Landdeck, PhD, quoted in Review Times article about aging WWII vets

Associate professor Kate Landdeck, Ph.D., of the History & Political Science Department was quoted in an article that was published in the Review Times (Fostoria, Ohio) about aging veterans of World War II and their recollections of life before, during and after the war.

Jacob Blosser, PhD, appointed to THECB Undergraduate Education Advisory Committee

TWU professor of history Jacob Blosser, Ph.D., has been appointed by the Texas Higher Educating Coordinating Board (THECB) to a three-year term on the Undergraduate Education Advisory Committee (UEAC).  This twenty-three member committee provides a state-wide forum for the development of ideas and policies impacting undergraduate education throughout Texas. Blosser comes to UEAC having most recently served as co-chair of the Texas Education Coordinating Board’s History Field of Study Advisory Committee. Blosser also serves as Vice President, and President-Elect, of the nation’s 400,000-member History Honor Society, Phi Alpha Theta.   

Katherine Sharp Landdeck featured in History Channel D-Day documentary, NPR Air Talk interview

Associate professor of history Katherine Sharp Landdeck, Ph.D., recently took part in A&E's documentary film D-Day: The Untold Stories, which airs on the History Channel this week and will be available online until July 9, 2019. She also was a guest on the NPR 89.3 KPCC (Los Angeles) show Air Talk, taking part in a discussion about D-Day and the Americans who fought in WWII.

TWU Jamison Lecture to feature US Congresswomen Sylvia Garcia and Kay Granger

U.S. Congresswomen Sylvia Garcia and Kay Granger will speak at Texas Woman’s University’s fourth annual Jamison Lecture, beginning at 7 p.m., March 21 on the university’s Denton campus. The lecture, titled “Women on the Rise: Reflections on the 2018 Election,” will take place in Margo Jones Performance Hall on Pioneer Circle. The lecture is free and open to the public.

History alumna Jenelle Osborne sworn in as mayor of Lompoc, CA

Jenelle Osborne fills her life with passion and laughter, whether running her business, volunteering in the community or taking the gavel as Lompoc’s newest mayor. After studying journalism, Osborne earned her degree in history from Texas Woman’s University. Both majors fed her interest in research, in data, in putting the parts together into a workable, understandable whole.

Assistant professor Clare Brock featured in NBC News lobbying article

"But despite their reputation and conventional wisdom, campaign contributions don't generally translate directly into policy changes, according to Clare Brock, a professor of political science at Texas Woman's University who studies lobbying. 'Most political scientists do not think about lobbying as vote buying, though sometimes the general public does think of it this way,' she told me. 'In fact, most of the time lobbying does not seem to actually change votes.'"

Kate Landdeck interviewed by NBC for story on US Navy's legendary first female jet pilot

Katherine Sharp Landdeck, Ph.D., a historian of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II and a professor at Texas Woman's University who was friends with Rosemary Mariner, said Mariner's intelligence was one of her signature assets, along with her willingness to assist others in reaching their potential. "She shaped generations of people with that confidence in them and helping them find their path," Landdeck said.

Jonathan Olsen makes guest appearance on Angela Merkel podcast

Jonathan Olsen, Ph.D., professor and chair of the TWU Department of History and Political Science, was interviewed by Andrew Jenks for the What Really Happened podcast episode, "The Marvelous Mrs. Merkel." Jenks and Olsen discussed Merkel's life and tenure as German Chancellor.

Listen on iTunes:


From your browser:

Kate Landdeck's 'Women During World War II' lecture featured on C-SPAN 3

TWU professor Kate Landdeck, Ph.D., taught a class about the ways American women contributed to the World War II effort. She detailed the expectations for women on the home front to write letters to soldiers, plant victory gardens, and work in factories. She also compared what options were available to women for service with each military branch. Her lecture was broadcast on Saturday, Jan. 5 at 8 p.m and midnight, ET.

TWU's Clare Brock weighs in on Kavanaugh hearings

Clare Brock, Ph.D., assistant professor of government at TWU, said her students are taking note of the unfolding revelations. Each class begins with a discussion of current events led by different students, she said. “Every single day, a student has brought it up,” Brock said. “They are paying a lot of attention, watching and learning.”

TWU history alumna Amanda Wagner named teacher of the year

TWU alumna Amanda Wagner, who graduated in 2008 with a BS in History, was recognized as secondary teacher of the year in the Santa Fe ISD (Brazoria County, TX). Wagner has served the community of Santa Fe for her entire nine-year educational career. She adores her Pre-AP English I and English III students as well as her talented student athletes. Fostering a growth mindset within adults and students is a challenge that she finds deeply satisfying. 

In Memoriam: The TWU Department of History and Government remembers alumna Avra Johnson

Avra Johnson, Ph.D., earned her MA in government at Texas Woman's University. She later attended Indiana University where she received her PhD in public policy and went on to lead a distinguished career as a professor at both TWU and Minnesota State University, Mankato, where she held a position as Department Chair and recently received the title "Professor Emeritus".

Johnson held several honors and leadership roles during her career, including that of Interim Assistant Vice President for Planning, Research and Assessment at Minnesota State University, Mankato; Who's Who Among America Teachers (1998-2000, multiple recipient); Pathfinder Award Recipient (January 2011); Mankato, MN, YWCA Board Member - President (2009-2010); Minnesota Council for Quality Board of Evaluators (Present). Johnson was a valued student and faculty member and she will be greatly missed.

TWU assistant professor featured in U.S. Supreme Court nomination article

Heading into Monday night’s U.S. Supreme Court nomination announcement, TWU assistant professor of government Parker Hevron, Ph.D., said the Trump administration may be looking at Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation for a “blueprint” on having another successful confirmation.

Parker Hevron uses NSF grant to look at legislative vs. court-based policy outcomes

Texas Woman’s University assistant professor Parker Hevron, Ph.D. (government) is in the middle of a research project on media coverage and its possible effects on perspectives about the American judicial system, which is being done with co-principal investigator Jeb Barnes (political science, University of Southern California) through a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant.

The $219,000 grant, which was awarded in early 2017, will allow Hevron and Barnes to look at the many policy problems in America handled by the court system rather than by democratically-elected lawmakers. The process is called "judicialization."

TWU Jamison Lecture to feature political perspectives from female journalists

Two American political reporters will speak at Texas Woman’s University’s third annual Jamison Lecture, beginning at 7 p.m., March 28 on the university’s Denton campus. The lecture, titled "Covering the Trump Presidency: Perspectives from Women Journalists", will be held in the Multipurpose Classroom Laboratory Building auditorium on North Bell Avenue. The lecture is free and open to the public.

National honor society elects TWU history professor as vice president

Jacob Blosser, Ph.D., associate professor of history at Texas Woman’s University, has been elected vice president and president-elect of the Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society. Blosser will serve as vice president until 2020, when he will become president of the national organization.

From left Alec Head, Clayton Drees current President of Phi Alpha Theta, Josh Joblin, Megan Joblin president of TWU’s Eta Nu Chapter, Jake Blosser TWU Chapter advisor and Vice President of Phi Alpha Theta, Melissa Thiel, and Graydon Tunstall, Executive Director of Phi Alpha Theta.
The TWU delegation at the Phi Alpha Theta Biennial National Convention in Orlando. From left: Alec Head, Clayton Drees current President of Phi Alpha Theta, Josh Joblin, Megan Joblin president of TWU’s Eta Nu Chapter, Jake Blosser TWU Chapter advisor and Vice President of Phi Alpha Theta, Melissa Thiel, and Graydon Tunstall, Executive Director of Phi Alpha Theta.

TWU History & Government would like to congratulate:

  • Associate Professor of History Kate Landdeck, who serves as producer and featured historian for the documentary film "W.A.S.P.: A Wartime Experiment in WoMan Power" which will have its debut at the Thin Line Fest in Denton the week of April 18-22.
  • Professor of Government Valentine Belfiglio, whose article “The Roman Veterinary Corps” appears in the journal Ancient Warfare, Vol. 11, No. 5, February 2018: 43-47.

  • Assistant Professor of Government Parker Hevron, whose article with Jeb Barnes, "Framed? Judicialization and the Risk of Negative Episodic Media Coverage", will appear this spring in Law & Social Inquiry, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Bar Association. A second article by Dr. Hevron, "The Effects of Judicialization: Experiments as a Way Forward", has been accepted in the peer-reviewed journal Laws for future publication.

  • Assistant Professor of Government Clare Brock, for being awarded a TWU Research Enhancement Program grant. The supported research assesses how government agencies define food security and what sources of information they use to do so.

  • Department Chair Jonathan Olsen, whose article “The Left Party in the 2017 German Federal Election”, will appear in a special election-themed issue of the journal German Politics in March, 2018. Olsen also will have a book chapter, “Germany”, in the Handbook of the Radical Left (Palgrave: New York and London, 2018) to be published this coming fall.

  • Professors Timothy Hoye and Jonathan Olsen, who participated on a panel at the Southern Political Science Association convention in New Orleans.  The panel theme was "The Changing Dynamics of American Political Culture."  Professor Hoye presented a paper entitled "Rethinking the Idea of a Republic in the Wake of the Trump Presidency," and Professor Olsen served as a discussant for the panel.  Also participating on the panel were former TWU graduate students in the department, Samah Elhajibrahim, Sarah Armor, and Sylvia Gonzalez.  Phillip Pierce, now a doctoral student in sociology, was also on the panel.

  • Associate Professor of History Kate Landdeck, Ph.D., who was featured on the History Channel's Pearl Harbor special on Dec. 7, 2017. Landdeck provided commentary regarding WAFS/WASP Cornelia Fort, who was in the air with a student on the day of the attack.

  • Assistant Professor of Government Clare Brock, Ph.D., who was quoted in the Denton Record Chronicle story, "Professors explain roles state senators play in Texas."
  • Associate Professor of History Kate Landdeck, Ph.D., who was quoted in an Associated Press story about the 20th anniversary of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in Washington, D.C. This story was picked up by several national publications, including the Washington Post and Chicago Tribune.
  • Department Chair Jonathan Olsen, Ph.D., who participated as a panelist and moderator for the Georgetown University event, "The 2017 Bundestag Election and its Consequences." The panel was hosted by the university's BMW Center for European and German Studies, and it took place on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017.
  • Assistant Professor of Government Parker Hevron, Ph.D., alongside University of Southern California Political Science Professor Jeb Barnes, Ph.D., for receiving a grant to help fund their research on mass media coverage of injury compensation policies. The grant, totaling to $219,734, was awarded by the law and social sciences division of the National Science Foundation.
  • The Eta Nu Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta for receiving — for the third year in a row — the Gerald Nash Award for Ibid. A Student Journal Volume 9. The award recognizes Ibid. as the best online student history journal in the United States. The chapter was also named the 2016 "Best Chapter in the United States" by the national office Phi Alpha Theta.
  • Kate Landdeck, Ph.D., for her contribution to a Fox News article covering the army’s refusal to bury the ashes of former World War II female pilots at the Arlington National Cemetery.
  • Professor of History Paul Travis, Ph.D., for winning TWU’s 2016 Distinction in Teaching award.
  • Professor of History Lybeth Hodges, Ph.D., for winning TWUs 2016 Humphries award.
  • Department Chair Jonathan Olsen, Ph.D., for his recent interview with KCBS San Francisco covering the current tensions between Turkey, the Netherlands and Germany.
  • Professor of Government Timothy K. Hoye, Ph.D., for the publication of his papers: Political Conceptualization in Japanese: Natsume Soseki's Late Works and Integral Liberalism: John H. Hallowell and the 20th Century for the for the Southern Political Science Association (SPSA) annual convention.
  • Associate Professor of History Sara Fanning, Ph.D., for her recent book publication Caribbean Crossing: African Americans and the Emigration Project by NYU Press.
  • Department Chair Jonathan Olsen, Ph.D., for the newest edition publication of his textbook, European Union: Politics and Policies.

TWU’s Kate Landdeck book on WW II female pilots optioned for movie; Company behind the recent hit ‘Hidden Figures’ to produce

Kate Landdeck

Texas Woman’s University’s Katherine Sharp Landdeck’s upcoming book, which centers on the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II, was optioned as a film by Fox 2000. This movie company was behind the recent hit “Hidden Figures.”

Women in politics focus of TWU’s second annual Jamison Lecture March 29

Three national experts on women in politics spoke at TWU’s second annual Jamison Lecture on March 29, 2017. The lecture, which is funded by former TWU History & Government chair and former Texas state legislator Alonzo Jamison’s estate, is hosted through the Department of History & Government annually.

Page last updated 4:34 PM, January 13, 2021