About Us

Throughout the local community and campus community, CSAW strives to educate about and increase appreciation for the American West. Use the side menu to view opportunities for students (including the Western American Studies minor, internships, and research grants), researchers, and anyone interested in participating with CSAW in any capacity, be it attending lectures and movie nights or donating to support the Center. CSAW is composed of a director board, an advisory board, a faculty council, and student interns.

Director Board

Dr. Alex Hunt, director

Dr. Alex Hunt, professor of English, came to WT in 2002. Originally from Alaska and Washington, he received his BA and MA from Colorado State University and his PhD from the University of Oregon. Dr. Hunt has published books on novelist Annie Proulx, postcolonial ecocriticism, and 19th century British investment in the American West. He has published articles on Texas Panhandle history, works of Western and Southwestern literature, Native American and Chicano/a studies, and popular culture--most recently on the television series Breaking Bad. Dr. Hunt has been editor of the Panhandle-Plains Historical Review and the Haley Professor of Western Studies since 2012.

Dr. Brian Ingrassia, associate director

Brian M. Ingrassia is Associate Professor of History at West Texas A&M University. A specialist in modern U.S. history, he teaches courses in sport history, urban history, and Texas history, as well as historical methods. Ingrassia is author of the award-winning The Rise of Gridiron University: Higher Education's Uneasy Alliance with Big-Time Football (University Press of Kansas 2012) and currently serves as series editor of the Sport and Popular Culture Series at the University of Tennessee Press. He has published a number of articles in scholarly journals, including Southwestern Historical Review and Panhandle-Plains Historical Review. He earned a PhD in history at the University of Illinois in 2008 and taught in Atlanta and metro Nashville before coming to WT in 2015. Ingrassia now lives in Amarillo and serves on Texas's State Board of Review for the National Register of Historic Places.

AJ McCormick, assistant director

After receiving her MA in English from West Texas A&M University, AJ McCormick began teaching first-year composition at WT. She is also a doctoral student in Technical Communication and Rhetoric at Texas Tech University. Having divided her formative years between the Ozark mountains, Florida coasts, and Hawaiian Islands, her move to the Texas panhandle was unsurprisingly an ecocultural shock; however, AJ now calls this place home and feels it’s played a role in shifting her academic interests towards ecocriticism and attitudes towards and relationships with nature. Her dissertation will consider food rhetoric and how this rhetoric is shaped by and shapes cultural identity and how those changes impact natural environments. She also researches digital humanities and pedagogy trends, especially related to public history and experiential learning.  

Advisory Board

Georgia Kitsman Rebekah Bachman Brett Hall Lilia Escajeda
Kyle Ingham Maria Guerrero Katy Magee Berklee Clements
Alex Hunt Wes Reeves Kevin Pond Steve Rader
Jessica Mallard Jay O'Brien, Chair Beverly Plank David Wheeler
Lance Garza Tom Moudy Jack Turner Paul Matney
Amy Von Lintel Shawna Witthar David Horsley Dallas Bell


Honorary Advisory Board

S. C. Gwynne Patricia Limerick Philipp Meyer Laura Pritchett
John Erickson Stephen Harrigan Stephen Graham Jones Dan Flores
José Limón David Wallace Adams


Faculty Council

Veronica Arias Rebekah Bachman Timothy Bowman Stacy Sheller
Alex Hunt Brian Ingrassia Sidnye Johnson Marty Kuhlman
Bonney MacDonald Ray Matlack Marcus Melton Dave Rausch
Warren Stricker Amy Von Lintel Bonnie Roos Jessica Mallard
Kristina Drumheller Jean Stuntz Byron Pearson
Wade Shaffer Rebekah Bachman Sidnye Johnson Nicholas Gerlich
Lisa Garza Tim Foster Ray Barbosa AJ McCormick


Fall 2021 Student Interns

Katey Denney Ashley Oakes Ashley Callaham
Ann Marie Rushin McKenzie Blanchard