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. Wade Shaffer, associate director

Dr. Wade Shaffer joined the WTAMU faculty in 1994 as Assistant Professor of History, where he teaches courses in early American and African-American History. He served in several administrative positions - including Department Head, Associate Dean, Associate Provost, and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs - before returning to a full time faculty role in 2020. Dr. Shaffer’s current research involves newspapers, politics, and culture in the early 20th century Texas Panhandle. He is co-author of “The Panhandle Press and the Presidential Election of 1928,” which appears in the 2023 edition of the Panhandle-Plains Historical Review


Katelyn Denney, assistant director

Katelyn Denney is a part-time instructor of History at West Texas A&M University. She received her BA and MA from West Texas A&M University, and teaches history survey classes. She specializes in African American history in the early 20th century. After starting out as an intern with CSAW in 2019, Katelyn has continued working with CSAW until being offered the position of assistant director.


Advisory Board

Rebekah Bachman Katelyn Denney Erich Drochner Alex Hunt Katy Magee Jessica Mallard
Wes Reeves Amy Von Lintel Shawna Witthar David Wheeler Berklee Clements Kevin Pond
Paul Matney Lesly Annen Ashley Watt Mark Erickson Jim Jennings Brett Hall
Steve Rader Kyle Ingham Dallas Bell Lance Garza Maria Guerrero Falvius Killebrew
Aaron Soto Matt McComas Gary Pitner David Horsley Puff Niegos Craig Vaughn
Taylor Moore Mary Bralley Seth Wieck Wade Shaffer


Honorary Advisory Board

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


Faculty Council

Alex Hunt Brian Ingrassia Amy Von Lintel Bonnie Roos Tim Bowman Wade Shaffer
Marty Kuhlman Jessica Mallard Kristina Drumheller Dave Rausch Liza Garza Ray Barbosa
Nicholas Gerlich Rebekah Bachman Ray Matlack Sidnye Johnson Veronica Arias Warren Stricker
Erik Crosman Nathan Howell Nancy Garcia Callie Hisek Shanna Peeples Andy Reynolds
Anna Lemnitzer Brandon Bang Kimberly Hieb Katelyn Denney


Spring 2024 Student Interns

Ashley Callaham Edie Heuss Matthew Albrecht Maddie Wright Kodi Hicks