Megan Hickerson

Master of Liberal Arts program director; professor of history

“Context is everything. You can’t understand text without context, and you can’t understand context without history.”

While working on her Ph.D. in history at Syracuse University, Megan Hickerson traveled to England to perform research for her degree.

She ended up staying there for 10 years.

“So my first teaching job as a Ph.D. was in the history department of King’s College, University of London,” Hickerson said. “When I moved back to the United States, I took a job at Tulane University (New Orleans) the same year of Hurricane Katrina.”

She went on to teach at the University of Arkansas for a year before joining the faculty at Henderson State in 2007.

Hickerson is a professor of history and also serves as director of Henderson’s Master of Liberal Arts program.

The MLA program provides students an array of courses that focus on the development of critical thinking, written and oral communication, and scholarly research.

“There is great variety within the program, so people with different goals can find different paths coming out of the degree,” Hickerson said. “Some of our students already have careers in teaching and this degree provides them with means to advance their existing careers and salaries, or just broaden their own horizons.”

The degree not only increases students’ expertise in their areas of study, it also serves to improve critical thinking, research, writing and other communication skills – all of which are extremely valuable, transferable skills, Hickerson said.

New interdisciplinary tracks are under development through the MLA, including media, popular culture studies, studies in social engagement, and physical science.

“As we continue to develop new tracks in the program, they will also provide their own opportunities for new careers or career advancement,” she said.

Hickerson said her history classes are discussion based.

“I like to help students experience the excitement of ‘getting’ historical significance through dialogue,” she said.

“When it comes to undergraduates, I most enjoy making students who think they hate history realize that they love it, which actually does happen,” Hickerson said. “With graduate students, I treasure the experience of watching them become confident researchers, writers, and especially thinkers.

“Many of the students you get to teach are in your class because they really want to be. It’s also gratifying to see students making connections for themselves with growing sophistication, and in the process, developing their own areas of expertise.”

What does Hickerson enjoy doing when away from the classroom?

“Aside from reading (I’m a total bookworm), I have a passion for wine and love to visit, tour and do tastings at wineries,” she said. “I love to cruise, adore going to the beach, and I am a San Antonio Spurs fan.”

If she hadn’t pursued a career in education, Hickerson said she would be a writer.

She has written a book about women religious martyrs in Tudor England, and has published on representations of Henry VIII in modern literature, TV and film.

“I’m currently working on a book about seventeenth century English writing about martyrs, and how it reflects developing ideas about gender (specifically masculinity) and the English nation,” Hickerson said.

Social Sciences

Contact Info:

Degree and School:
Ph.D., History, Syracuse University

- The intersection between ideas about gender and religion

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