The Amarillo Pioneer

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WTAMU Center for Study of the American West Awards Grants

"West Texas A&M University’s Center for the Study of the American West (CSAW) has awarded its first research grants to three recipients in amounts ranging from $400 to $1,600.

The three scholars receiving grants are Dr. Anne Medlock of WTAMU, Joel Zapata of Southern Methodist University and James Vice of Texas Tech University.

The CSAW grants, which are open to professional researchers and students in all academic disciplines, fall into two categories—internal to WTAMU and called CSAW Research Grants and external to WTAMU and named Jo Stewart Randel Grants. The internal grants enable WTAMU and Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (PPHM) faculty, staff and students to pursue research opportunities on any topic related to the American West. The external funds researchers who need to come to WTAMU to use archival collections, notably the PPHM Research Center and Cornette Library Special Collections.

Dr. Ann Medlock, associate professor of theatre, received a CSAW Research Grant for her project, “Costume Construction Technique of 1900s Women’s Garments.” Funds enabled Medlock to study 19th century garments at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the Museum of Texas Tech, the Texas Fashion Collection at the University of North Texas and collections at History Colorado in Denver. By examining clothing worn by 19th century western women, Medlock was able to better design garments for ongoing theater production work at WTAMU.

Jo Stewart Randel Grant winner Joel Zapata, Ph.D. candidate in borderland history at SMU, won a grant for his proposal, “The Mexican Southern Plains: Creating an Ethnic Mexican Homeland on the Llano.” Zapata spent significant time in the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum archives conducting this important research in southern plains history.

The other Jo Stewart Randel Grant went to James Vice, Ph.D. candidate in history at Texas Tech University. Vice’s research proposal was titled “Pantex Nuclear Technology Rising: The History of Activism and Related Environmental Concerns in West Texas.” Vice found archival material at PPHM and Cornette Library useful for his project.

“CSAW is involved in university curriculum and public outreach, but unless the Center is actively engaged in the process of creating new research relevant to the American West, we’re not a real academic center,” Dr. Alex hunt, CSAW director, said. “And it is important that CSAW gain and maintain academic credibility in the scholarly community.”

CSAW regards its granting program as vital, and Hunt expects to receive more proposals in the next cycle. He hopes to be able to fund a WTAMU student in the 2018 round of awards.

CSAW will invite proposals for 2018 grants in the spring, and further information can be found at"

-West Texas A&M University

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