Department News

Faculty/Student Digital Projects

In the 2015-2016 academic year, three History Department faculty (Drs. Charles, Kang, and Hijar) and three former CSUSM M.A. students who now teach at local community colleges will participate in a new Digital Humanities curriculum development initiative sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The initiative brings together Humanities scholars from SDSU, USD, UCSD, Palomar College, Mesa College, San Diego City College, and CSUSM. The initiative funds a series of workshops in which faculty will collaborate to develop new approaches to teaching Digital Humanities, along with a set of protocols and best practices that can be adapted and scaled for a variety of types of higher-ed institutions. This grant initiative will also help build out a recently formed, local Digital Humanities working group, SD|DH, which aims to foster Digital Humanities collaboration across San Diego. Dr. Katherine Hijar, History is a core faculty member of SD|DH. For more information about this initiative and SD|DH, visit

Faculty/Student Digital Projects

The Ecke Papers Project: Led by Professor Jeff Charles, the project has been to organize and digitize the Ecke papers. In 2014-2015, four graduate students received Ecke fellowships to organize the documents and artifacts, and begin to create an online archive.

CSUSM History Harvest--WWII: Led by Professor Jill Watts, this project commenced in spring of 2015 and was modeled after a concept pioneered at the University of Nebraska. The project, primarily carried out by students in History 502, collected items and artifacts from the era of World War II that are in the private collections of members of the local community. The students collected and archived nearly 100 items and created an online museum with exhibits relating to WWII. This project and Professor Watts joined the University of Nebraska and Michigan State University to submit an NEH grant focused on refining and extending the History Harvest concept.

Faculty Highlights

Ibrahim Al-Marashi published “Military-Society Relations in Iraq, 1921-1958: Competing Roles of the Army” in Benjamin Isakhan, Shamiran Mako and Fadi Dawood (eds.) State and Society in Iraq: Citizenship under Occupation, Dictatorship and Democratization (IB Taurus, forthcoming 2015)

Professor Anne Lombard was promoted to Full Professor.

Professors Debbie Kang, Katherine Hijar, Michael Henderson, Jonathan Bechtol, and Andy Strathman attended the CSU course redesign summer institute where they discussed new approaches to teaching the Lower Division U.S. History survey.

Professor Carmen Nava has been appointed department chair for a three-year term.

Professor Alyssa Sepinwall is the 2015 recipient of the Harry E. Brakebill award, CSUSM's highest faculty honor.

Professor Zhiwei Xiao was selected to lead the CSU study abroad in China program for 2015-16. He will oversee students from all 23 CSU campuses who will be studying at Peking University in the next academic year.

Student and Alumni Highlights

Jason Halub (History, 2004, magna cum laude), Major, U.S. Army, has completed two years at West Point as Instructor of International History and International Division Executive Officer. He will be attending Peking University as a senior visiting student in their History Department. The Department of History recognized Jason as a Distinguished Alumni in 2009.

Tony Acevedo (BA, CSUSM, 2004; MA, SDSU, 2007) has been hired by Hudson County Community College in a tenure-track Instructor of History, Division of Social Sciences. Tony has been teaching at HCCC (in Jersey City) since Fall 2013. He just completed the NEH's "The Legacy of Ancient Italy" summer institute on Etruscan and Early Roman history in Switzerland and Italy.  It was a great opportunity for intensive study with colleagues from all over the country, from UCLA to University of Rochester and many places in between, and the participants represented a variety of related disciplines. 

Tony is currently a 2015-2016 MetroCITI fellow at Columbia University's Teachers College. The Metropolitan Colleges Institute for Teaching Improvement is a year-long series of seminars to develop pedagogical projects that advance student learning at high-diversity colleges.

Tony Acevedo