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Welcome to the
Department of History

Study history in a place where history lives – Nacogdoches, the oldest town in Texas. At SFA, roughly half of our undergraduates go on to teach, while the other half enter the corporate world to succeed in law, consulting, international business, and other rewarding professions. Our graduate program also further enriches teachers and prepares graduates for work in academia, museums, archives, historic preservation, and other historical professions. Whichever path you choose, you’ll benefit from smaller classes and faculty members focused on your success.


  • Graduate Student Preserves History

    In summer 2020, public history graduate student Alysha Richardson interned with Preservation Texas in cemetery preservation. Richardson conducted gravestone cleanings and repainted historic cast-iron fences within the cemetery.
    "Cemeteries hold a history all their own," Richardson said. "They can tell you about cultural trends, religion and historical events, and I think that is worth preserving."
    Learn more about SFA's public history program.

    Alysha Richardson

    Alysha Richardson, public history graduate student

  • Doctor. Author. Lumberjack.

    Dr. Taaffe’s primary research interest is American military leadership and command, and he is the author of six books. His most recent, MacArthur’s Korean War Generals, was the 2016 winner of The U.S. Military History Group’s Captain Richard Lukaszewicz Memorial Book Award. In addition to teaching U.S. history survey classes, Dr. Taaffe teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in American military and diplomatic history.

    Dr. Stephen Taaffe

    Dr. Stephen Taaffe

  • From SFA to Ph.D.

    After earning her bachelor's degree at SFA, Dr. Meredith May went on to earn a master's degree and a Ph.D. in history. She then launched her career as a faculty member at Kilgore College. Dr. May credits her SFA history professors with showing her how to be an amazing teacher and scholar. She says that the opportunities to present her research at conferences like the Undergraduate Research Conference and the East Texas Historical Association's conference helped prepare her for a career in academia.

    Dr. Meredith May, Class of 2009

    Dr. Meredith May, Class of 2009

Transformative Experiences

At SFA, we believe students benefit greatly from hands-on learning in and out of the classroom. Transformative experiences are at the core of our academic philosophy.

Historical Resources

Lumberjacks have unique opportunities to study and contribute to history as academics, teachers in training, and public historians through our on-campus Stone Fort Museum, the department-sponsored East Texas Historical Association and the university’s Center for Regional Heritage Research.

Stone Fort Museum

Stone Fort Museum

The fort on the campus of SFA is a historic replica of a Spanish Colonial house circa 1788. The house was on the Camino Real, weathered four revolutionary actions and survived until 1902. Along the way, its resilience led to the nickname the "Old Stone Fort." Today, it serves as a museum and educational resource.


Center for Regional Heritage Research

Center for Regional Heritage Research

The Center for Regional Heritage Research promotes the study of all aspects of East Texas heritage and allows our students opportunities to research local and regional topics in a variety of history courses. The Center for Regional Heritage Research is closely associated with SFA’s History Department and sponsors region-specific grants and contracts which propose to research, edit, collect, exhibit and distribute historical and cultural information on East Texas.


Meet Our Students

  • Brigette Kozash

    Brigette Kozash

    Brigette’s SFA study abroad experience in Brazil gave her the confidence to travel to other historical locations. On a recent trip to Mexico City, she immersed herself in situations that challenged her to speak Spanish.

  • Sydney Harkrider

    Sydney Harkrider

    “Next spring I will be studying at the University of Bristol in the UK. The International Affairs Office at SFA has been instrumental in enabling me to pursue this goal. I am incredibly excited to have my own adventure abroad!”

  • Sarah Shade

    Sarah Shade

    Sarah is a history major specializing in writing and research. Because SFA offers smaller classes, she enjoys actually getting to know her professors and working with them throughout her real-world research internships.