Sheppard named first Christensen Fellow at S&T

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Dr. Kathleen Sheppard (center, holding award) receiving the 2019 Woman of the Year award at Missouri S&T, pictured along with previous winners of the award. Photo by Tom Wagner, Missouri S&T

Dr. Kathleen Sheppard has been named Missouri University of Science and Technology’s first Christensen Fellow of history and political science. The fellowship provides funding for faculty to travel to find and study original source materials to support their research, as well as to provide funding for research assistants, memberships in professional organizations, summer salaries and publishing costs. 

Missouri S&T history alumnus Cordell Smith established the university’s first endowment earlier this year to fund the research efforts of S&T history and political science faculty. Smith’s gift will support the research efforts and expenses of up to two full-time tenured or tenure-track history and political science faculty members who will hold the title of Christensen Faculty Fellow. The appointment is renewable for up to three years.  

The Lawrence O. Christensen Endowed Faculty Fellowship honors late Missouri historian and S&T professor Dr. Lawrence Christensen. Christensen, a Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor of history and political science, was a member of the S&T faculty for over 30 years, consistently earning high teaching evaluations from students inspired by his passion for history and love of a vigorous discussion. 

Sheppard, an associate professor of history and political science at S&T, says that she will use funds from the fellowship to complete work on two current book projects. In the first, Tea on the Terrace: Hotels and Egyptologists’ Knowledge Networks from 1885-1925, she will “analyze hotels in Egypt as sites of knowledge creation and network building for Egyptologists.” The second, tentatively titled A Field of Their Own: Women Egyptologists in the Golden Age, “will be one of the first books to tell the story of the discipline of Egyptology focused specifically on women and their impact in the field,” says Sheppard. She will also use the fellowship funds to do more original research in archives in Europe and the U.S. 

Sheppard earned her master’s degree and Ph.D. in the history of science at the University of Oklahoma in 2006 and 2010, respectively. She earned a master’s degree in Egyptian archaeology at University College London in 2002, and she completed her bachelor’s degree in anthropology and sociology at Truman State University in 2001. 

Sheppard has earned several S&T awards for research, teaching and service, including the 2017 Women’s Inspirational Award and in 2019, Missouri S&T’s Woman of the Year Award. In 2016 and 2019, she earned campus Faculty Teaching Awards and in 2018 she received the Center for Educational Research and Teaching’s Experiential Learning Award. 

Sheppard earned the 2020 University of Missouri System President’s Innovative Teaching Award for her continuing student assignment to edit Wikipedia articles related to history of science. Over five years, students in her classes have edited 191 articles, adding 203,200 words in the process. Their edited articles have been viewed over 12 million times.