Kendra K. DeHart, PhD, an Alpine native, has been named the chair of the Behavioral and Social Sciences (BASS) Department at Sul Ross State University.
“I know Sul Ross State to be a very special place,” said Dr. DeHart. “Some of my earliest memories and milestones occurred on this campus. I am deeply committed to the university’s success and understand the vital opportunities it provides for students. It is an honor to be a member of this community and return service.”
Dr. DeHart graduated from Southwestern University in Georgetown in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a minor in Communication Studies. She received her master’s degree with a specialization in Public History from Texas State University and defended her MA thesis on home demonstration work in West Texas with distinction. She was also named Texas State’s Outstanding Graduate Student in History in 2013. A recipient of the Provost Fellowship at Texas Christian University, she earned her PhD in 2020. Her dissertation, titled “From Victory to Validation: The Victory Study Club and Women’s Activism in San Angelo, Texas, 1942 to 1975,” concentrates on the progressive influence of women’s clubs in West Texas during the postwar period.
She has been teaching History at SRSU since 2016 and has developed courses in US History, Texas History, American West History, Native American History and American Women’s History.
Dr. DeHart served as the head graduate researcher at Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Site, as a research assistant at TCU, and as a graduate advisor for the Rural Women’s Studies Association as well as a grant reviewer for Humanities Texas and as a member of the Regional Council of the National Parks Conservation Association. She was also the primary researcher for a historical marker at Alpine’s Kokernot Field and has presented at numerous academic conferences across the nation. She will be presenting in Los Angeles this October at the Western History Association Conference, highlighting her research on early immigration law enforcement efforts along the El Paso border during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.
Dr. DeHart has served on several university committees and was a finalist for the SRSU Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award in 2022. She also regularly volunteers in the community as a board member for the Alpine Food Pantry and the Brewster County Historical Commission and enjoys participating as a judge for the Big Bend Regional History Fair and as a speaker at local “Nerd Nite” events.
She remains deeply committed to developing historical scholarship in the West Texas region. Currently, she is completing a manuscript entitled “An Assembly of Organized Womanhood”: West Texas Clubwomen’s Activism in the Post-World War II Period.”
“Dr. DeHart is a respected teacher and scholar,” said Dr. Bernie Cantens, provost. “She will be an excellent leader of the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences, mentoring faculty, modernizing the curricula and providing a vision for the future.”
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