News and Announcements

TWU hosts hero pilot Tammie Jo Shults in online lecture Oct. 6

Captain Tammie Jo Shults, the widely acclaimed pilot who brought Southwest Flight 1380 in for a successful, heroic emergency landing in 2018, headlines the fall installment of the Paup Lecture Series. The free, online event is open to the public and hosted by the Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership at Texas Woman’s University. 

The virtual lecture will begin at 6 p.m., Oct. 6, 2021. Preregistration is required.

Alumna Melissa Theil leads effort to memorialize Sherman, Texas lynching

TWU alumna Melissa Thiel is leading an effort to install a historical marker for the lynching of George Hughes and the Sherman Riot of 1930. Thiel’s effort to commemorate Sherman’s painful past has stalled — caught between resistance by some of the town’s White leaders and a rising desire among residents to confront old racial wounds.
Although she has approached her project with a certain indomitability, “I picked a doozy,” Thiel said. “I was naive, and I didn’t think the pushback I’d get would get to this level.”

Thiel earned her master's in history and was part of TWU's public history program.

WFAA features Clare Brock, PhD, as expert in Texas power grid reform coverage

Its spectacular collapse during February’s record-smashing winter storm revealed how unprepared our power system was to handle days of below-freezing temperatures.  The public rightly demanded answers, and more importantly, swift action from Austin

To help manage the legislative storm, the Texas energy sector hired lobbyists. Hundreds of them. 

“There's an old adage that, if you're not at the table, you might be on the menu,” said Dr. Clare Brock, a Texas Woman’s University political science professor in Denton, and expert on lobbying. 

Clare Brock, PhD, discusses Texas voter restriction legislation with The Guardian

Texas lawmakers are locked in a fight over legislation that would further restrict voting access, as Republicans lean on procedural moves to avoid public testimony and keep eleventh-hour negotiations behind closed doors.

"There’s not really a big problem with election fraud, right? That’s not actually a huge problem that we need to solve. But the public thinks it is, because they’ve been told that it is,” said Clare Brock, PhD, an assistant professor of political science at Texas Woman’s University.

History & Political Science student Sheryl English elected to Denton ISD school board

Sheryl English, a Denton real estate agent and History & Political Science student at Texas Woman’s University, has been elected to fill Place 2 on the Denton ISD school board.

As part of the May election, voters selected who would fill two school board seats for full three-year terms. All places on the Denton school board are at-large, meaning all eligible voters within the school district can vote in each race.

Professor and Chair Jon Olsen, PhD, weighs in on future of Die Linke in Germany's 2021 federal election

"If recent history is any guide, the 2021 German federal election will once again raise the question of whether the Left Party’s (Die Linke) cup is half-empty or half-full," Jon Olsen, PhD, professor and chair of the TWU Department of History & Political Science, in a recent opinion piece for Johns Hopkins University's American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.

TWU's Wouter van Erve weighs in on civics education legislation

What Texas kids need to know in order to become responsible citizens is up for debate.

After Gov. Greg Abbott named strengthening civics education as one of his priorities for the legislative session, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle filed bills with that goal in mind. But some advocacy groups are concerned that the issue could become too politicized, potentially stymieing progress in Austin.

Wouter van Erve, a Texas Woman’s University political science professor, said it’s important to pay attention to the emphasis on patriotism within civics education bills.

“Patriotism is a feeling. It’s a feeling of pride. In civics education, you have to watch out,” he said. “It’s not about feelings — it’s about facts.”

Good Morning America airs segment featuring Katherine Sharp Landdeck and her book

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Good Morning America aired a segment on the amazing Women Airforce Service Pilots, whose heroic feats during World War II were chronicled by TWU’s Kate Landdeck in her latest book, “The Women with Silver Wings.”

Landdeck and her book were also featured in the Texas Standard story, "Women Who Flew: The Silver Winged WASPs Of World War II."

Katherine Sharp Landdeck speaks at national U.S. Air Force symposium

Associate professor of history Katherine Sharp Landdeck, PhD, was a speaker on several panels for the U.S. Air Force Academy National Character and Leadership Symposium in February. She was also a guest speaker for the academy's freshmen and upper-level history classes.

Watch Landdeck's USAF presentation on Youtube>>

TWU to present virtual forum on legacy, roots of Capitol violence

Texas Woman’s University will host its first virtual Public Affairs Forum, “Capitol Violence: Tracing Legacies of Anti-Black Racism, White Supremacy and Anti-Semitism,” on Zoom 6-7:30 p.m., March 4. The event is free and open to the public. Participants must register in advance and are encouraged to submit questions for the panelists through the registration form. 

Jamison Lecture to feature Melba Patillo Beals of Little Rock Nine

Melba Patillo Beals, Ed.D., journalist, author and member of the Little Rock Nine — the first group of African American students to integrate Little Rock Central High School in 1957 — will speak at Texas Woman’s University’s sixth annual Jamison Lecture, part of the Nancy P. and Thaddeus E. Paup Lecture Series. The lecture, titled “Warriors Don’t Cry,” will take place online via live stream beginning at 7 p.m., March 18.

Bejarano awarded $30K grant for Latina political participation research

The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) recently awarded a $30,000 grant to facilitate “Mujeres, Movidas y Movimiento: A Comparative Study of Latina Candidate Emergence and Political Mobilization in California and Texas.” The research project was one of nine funded by the CAWP in 2021 to help identify and address challenges and opportunities for women’s political participation.

Parker Hevron interviewed for Business Times' Biden article

"Trump seemed to be hellbent on shattering every possible norm associated with American politics but there are some things that cannot be shattered and that's one of them," said Parker Hevron, Ph.D., associate professor of political science at Texas Woman's University.

Christina Bejarano, PhD, interviewed for 'FiveThirtyEight' article about women of color in Congress

There are “two pieces to the puzzle: Mobilizing those voters, and finding the candidates out of that group,” as Christina Bejarano, PhD, a political scientist at Texas Woman’s University, put it in the recent FiveThirtyEight article, "Women of Color Were Shut Out of Congress For Decades. Now They're Transforming It."

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.

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Page last updated 9:46 AM, September 14, 2021