Event Type

AHA Regional Conference, Conference, Webinar/Virtual Event

AHA Topics

K–12 Education, Teaching & Learning, Undergraduate Education

Event Description

The 2021 Texas Conference on Introductory History Courses met online in the fall. We held two plenary webinars and six facilitated discussions by course topic.




Teaching Black History to White People

With Leonard N. Moore, University of Texas at Austin, November 4

In the keynote presentation of the 2021 Texas Conference, Leonard N. Moore discussed teaching Black history in the south and in the face of criticism.

A Return to Humanity in Teaching

October 20

Chair: Stephanie M. Foote, John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education
Panelists: Daniel J. McInerney, Utah State University
Tomiko M. Meeks, Texas Southern University
Amy Powers, Waubonsee Community College

In The Courage to Teach, Parker Palmer (1998) writes, “Good teaching cannot be reduced to technique; good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher” (p. 10). As Palmer (1998) suggests, teaching and identity are interwoven, making teaching an act of vulnerability. In this session, the panelists reflected on Palmer’s suggestion and discussed ways they have changed their own practices in the classroom to create more inclusive and responsive learning environments.

Course Discussions

These 75-minute conversations, facilitated by an experienced instructor, were an opportunity to share strategies and resources for teaching each of the six main history topics in the state’s Academic Course Guide Manual (ACGM) for lower-division history classes. Thank you to all who participated!

Wednesday 10/20

1:00–2:15 PM CT – Western Civilization moderated by Kent McGaughy (Houston Community College).

Thursday 10/21

10:00–11:15 AM CT – World History moderated by Mike Rattanasengchanh (Midwestern State University).

1:00–2:15 PM CT – African American History moderated by Theresa Jach (Houston Community College).

Friday 10/22

10:00–11:15 AM CT – Mexican American History moderated by Trinidad Gonzales (South Texas College).

1:00–2:15 PM CT – United States History moderated by Kelly Hopkins (University of Houston) and Scott Williams (Weatherford College).

Saturday 10/23

1:00–2:15 PM CT – Texas History moderated by Walter Buenger (University of Texas at Austin).

Featured Speakers

Leonard N. Moore is currently the George Littlefield Professor of American History and the former vice-president of diversity and community engagement at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, who earned his BA from Jackson State University in 1993 and his PhD from the Ohio State University in 1998. From 1998-2007 he served as a professor and administrator at Louisiana State University and he has been at the University of Texas at Austin since 2007. Inside the classroom Dr. Moore teaches more than 1,000 undergraduate students in the fall semester in his two classes: History of The Black Power Movement and Race in the Age of Trump. Dr. Moore also directs summer programs in Beijing, China, and Cape Town, South Africa, and in Dubai. He has taken more than 400 Black and Brown students abroad within the last seven years. As a scholar Professor Moore is the author of three books on black politics and his fourth book, Teaching Black History to White People, will be published in the fall of 2021. He also serves as board chair of the Austin Area Urban League.

Stephanie M. Foote, Ph.D. is the Senior Associate Vice President for Teaching, Learning, and Evidence-Based Practices at the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education and Lecturer at Stony Brook University. In this role, Stephanie provides administrative leadership and coordination for the Gateways to Completion (G2C) process, Curricular Analytics Community and process, the Teaching and Learning Academy (TLA), and collaborates with the AHA staff on the History Gateways project. Prior to joining the Gardner Institute staff, Stephanie was the founding director of the Master of Science in First-Year Studies, professor of education, and faculty fellow for High-Impact Practices at Kennesaw State University. Stephanie’s research and consultative work span a variety of topics, including the role of first-year seminars and experiential pedagogy on student engagement in the early college experience, transfer students, self-authorship development, engagement and learning in online environments, faculty development, metacognitive teaching and learning approaches, high-impact educational practices, and anti-racist and inclusive teaching practices.

Daniel McInerney is professor emeritus in the Department of History at Utah State University. His teaching has covered a range of courses from the introductory survey to the Civil War to capstone and graduate classes. Dan did his undergraduate work at Manhattan College in New York City and completed his PhD at Purdue University in the American Studies program. His research centers on nineteenth-century U.S. history, focusing on social reform. Dan is the author of two books: The Fortunate Heirs of Freedom: Abolition and Republican Thought (1994) and The Travellers’ History of the United States (2000). Translations of the latter work appeared in 2009 in both Russian (Midgard Press) and Chinese (Shanghai Jiao Tong University Press). He is now returning to work on a study of 19th-century techniques for memory improvement. Since 2009, Dan has focused on projects related to teaching and learning, working with the global “Tuning” initiative in the state of Utah, with the American Historical Association, as a member of the Tuning USA Advisory Board, and with the E.U.-U.S. Tuning Board. He has spoken to audiences involved in Tuning across the U.S. as well as in Belgium, Spain, Brazil, and Japan. In 2014, the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment named him one of 15 “coaches” on the national Degree Qualifications Profile/Tuning project, providing one-day workshops on approaches to the assessment of student learning. In 2018, he was a research fellow at the Deusto International Tuning Academy University of Deusto, Bilbao, Spain. Dan now serves as an adviser on the AHA’s History Gateways project. He also holds a position on the advisory board of the Tuning Journal for Higher Education. Dan’s articles have appeared in the Journal of American History, American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, the National Institute for Educational Policy Research Bulletin (Japan), Arts and Humanities in Higher Education (U.K.), The History Teacher, and World History Connected.

Professor Tomiko Meeks is a professional historian, freelance editor, cultural consultant, and educator. She received her BA in Psychology and MA in History from the University of Houston. Professor Meeks has taught courses in African American History, United States History, Humanities, World History, the African Diaspora, and Africa and the Oil Industry at the University of Houston, Lone Star College, Houston Community College, Lee College, and Texas Southern University. Her passions are history and social justice. She has worked on several projects, including a collaboration with the University of Houston and the Menil Collection on The Effects of Atlantic Slave Trade in the Visual Culture of Africa. She served as co-chair of the Digital Humanities Symposium at Houston Community College. She participates annually in the HBCU Oral History Project on Race and Reconciliation. Professor Meeks is also a member of the Howard University Social Justice Consortium. Professor Meeks is a dedicated member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., where she served as Chapter Historian, and newly elected Corresponding Secretary for the Bay Area Houston Alumnae (BAHA) Chapter. She also serves on the Boards for Central Texas Historical Association (CTHA), The HistoryMakers, Texas Oral History Association (TOHA), and Preserve Black Texas, an organization committed to protecting African American History and Culture in Texas. Her current research interests include Houston’s Historic Fourth Ward and African American Cemeteries, where she examines the intersectionality of social injustice, identity and racial hegemony. Professor Meeks is also an investigator on the National Emancipation Historic Trail Study in conjunction with the National Parks Service and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.

Amy Godfrey Powers is Professor of History at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, Illinois.  She is also serving a two-year term as a Faculty Development Coordinator in the Office of Faculty Development and Engagement. Her teaching experience includes American History, Western Civilization, World History and History of the Middle East.  Amy is currently participating in “History Gateways,” a four-year initiative created by the American Historical Association in partnership with the John N. Gardner Institute and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  She has received a number of awards including the Illinois Community College Faculty Association’s 2013 “Instructor of the Year” award, the Northern Illinois University History Department’s 2014 “Alumna of the Year” award, and Waubonsee Community College’s “Outstanding Faculty of the Year” award for 2017.


J. Kent McGaughy (Ph.D., University of Houston, 1997) has been a Professor of History at Houston Community College since 1997; and he has served as an Associate Chair for the HCC Department of History since 2015. He is the author of Richard Henry Lee of Virginia: A Portrait of an American Revolutionary (2004). He first became involved with the idea of rethinking or redesigning the Introductory American History and Western Civilization survey courses when he became part of the History Tuning Project through the American Historical Association in 2011. He has spent much of the last decade discussing ways to improve the Introductory History survey course culminating with his involvement in the project to redesign history survey course sponsored by the AHA and the John Gardner Institute.

P. Michael Rattanasengchanh is an assistant professor of history at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, TX where he teaches Asian and US history. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from Brigham Young University, a Masters at the University of Washington in international studies, and a doctorate degree in history from Ohio University. His research interests include foreign relations, public diplomacy, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, and counterinsurgency.

Dr. Theresa Jach holds a PhD in United States History from the University of Houston. She has written about convict leasing and the Texas Prison System. She is the co-editor and contributor of Incarcerated Women:  A History of Struggles, Oppression, and Resistance in American Prisons (2017), Huntsville Penitentiary (2013), Richmond, Texas (2014), ”Reform v. Reality in the Texas Progressive Era Prison,” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, January 2006, and “A Confederate Inkstand in England: Pro-Confederate Cotton Elites in Liverpool,”  (2019). She was a co-author of Back to Bondage, the study on the Sugar Land 95. She serves on the Executive Board of the Organization of American Historians and was the History lead for Houston Community College’s History Gateway Courses initiative with the American Historical Association. She served on the City of Sugar Land Task Force on the “Sugar Land 95” and the Fort Bend Independent School District advisory board on the Sugar Land 95. She teaches US history survey courses and African American History at Houston Community College.

Trinidad Gonzales is a history and Mexican American Studies instructor at South Texas College. His research focuses on the United States/Mexico borderlands and group identity. He was the first Latino CO-OP Student for the Smithsonian Institution where he conducted field research for the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage’s El Río Program for the Folklife Festival. He facilitated participant talk sessions for the program as well. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Houston and serviced as the American Historical Association Teaching Division Councilor, 2014-2017. As part of his work for the AHA he helped begin the Texas Conference on Introductory History Courses. The conference helps bridge classroom teaching practices and concerns with educational policy discussions. Gonzales has written op-ed pieces concerning Mexican American Studies, race and racism, and immigration that have appeared in the Austin American Statesman, San Antonio Express, and the McAllen Monitor.

Kelly Hopkins is an assistant professor of early American history. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis and her M.A. at the University of Akron. Her research interests include the fields of Native American, British, and French Colonial American history, environmental history and Atlantic world history. She investigates the experiences and legacies of the interactions between European colonists and indigenous peoples. Hopkins’ current book project, “Recreating Iroquoia: Haudenosaunee Settlement Patterns, Subsistence Strategies, and Environmental Use, 1630-1783,” demonstrates the innovative responses of the Haudenosaunee to a period of rapid colonial and market expansion into their homeland. Her research has been supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship. Professor Hopkins regularly teaches the first half of the American history survey where she focuses on improving undergraduate education and student success.

Scott Williams is a professor of history at Weatherford College, where he has been teaching since 2006. He teaches the American history surveys in hybrid and online formats. At Weatherford College, he is the Assistant Department Chair for Social Sciences and the Chair of the eLearning Advisory Committee. He was chosen as Faculty Member of the Year in 2014 and is active in multiple state organizations, including the Texas Community College Teachers Association and the Texas Distance Learning Association.

Professor Walter L. Buenger (PhD 1979, Rice University) is Summerlee Foundation Chair in Texas History and Barbara Stuart Centennial Professor in Texas History, University of Texas at Austin; Chief Historian, Texas State Historical Association; and Editor, Southwestern Historical Quarterly. Buenger was born in Ft. Stockton, Texas, and he grew up there. Both sides of his family told stories that stretched back to the Civil War, but his father’s German Texan relatives had a decidedly more jaundiced view of that conflict than his mother’s Anglo kin. Those stories with their conflicting views of the past and his early years in the Trans-Pecos country gave him a lifelong interest in the nuanced history and varied cultures of the South and Southwest. He left the Trans-Pecos for Houston and graduated from Rice University with a BA in 1973. After earning a PhD from Rice he began teaching in the Department of History at Texas A&M University in 1979, and he remained at A&M until 2017 when he joined the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin. Buenger has written or co-written four books, co-edited three more, and authored numerous articles and book chapters. His main areas of interest have been the connections between Texas and the South, Texas identity, historiography, the role of memory, the influence of borders, and the construction and evolution of culture in the Southwest.