PSU names new chair of HPSS Department 

An associate professor of history who last month was given the Outstanding Faculty Award by students has been named the new chair of the Department of History, Philosophy, and Social Sciences at Pittsburg State. 

Christopher Childers will assume the new role on June 1, taking over for interim Jamie Oliver, chair of the Art Department, who stepped in to lead the department last year after the departure of the previous chair. 

“I am honored to become the next chair,” he said. “It's exciting to be a part of such a large, vibrant, multidisciplinary department. Through the Pitt State Pathway courses, our undergraduate majors, professional programs, and graduate study, HPSS plays a role in the lives of so many PSU students. I'm excited to lead our department as we continue to serve students and the PSU community.” 

He brings to the position innovative ideas for approaching recruitment and retention of students, said Dean of College of Arts & Sciences Mary Carol Pomatto. 

“We are looking forward to working with Dr. Childers in this leadership role,” she said. “Dr. Childers is student -focused and highly respected in his discipline. He is mission-oriented with a positive vision for our collective future.”  

Childers has served as an associate professor of history since August 2016. He has served as coordinator of the history program at PSU since 2020. Previously, he taught at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, at Crowder College in Neosho, Missouri, and was a lecturer at PSU for the 2010-2011 academic year. 

He holds a doctorate in American history from Louisiana State University and a master’s in American history from Emporia State University, where he also earned his bachelor’s and his education degrees. 

Childers has authored three books about three eras in American history, as well as numerous peer-reviewed scholarly articles and book chapters. 

Frequently asked to be a presenter and panelist at conferences, he is the recipient of numerous awards, fellowships, grants, and prizes, including having been chosen as a participant in the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar. 

From 2019 to March 2021, he served as the president of the Kansas Association of Historians, has served as a committee leader for the PSU Faculty Senate, and as a member of the University Press of Kansas Editorial Committee, the University Strategic Planning Council, the Information Technology Council, the Gorilla Advising Council, the Secondary Education Coordinating Council, and is the faculty advisor for the PSU History Club and Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society.