History Department Timeline

The timeline below highlights some of the milestones in the history of the Cal Poly Pomona History Department.

Werner Marti1956 : Werner Marti (California history - pictured at right) was hired to teach history in a department that included faculty members in many social sciences and humanities

Early 1960s: Six more historians were hired: Frederick Heath (Europe), Donald Pflueger (California and US), David Levering (US), Ralph Shaffer (California), William Smith (Colonial US), John Moore (US Diplomatic and Intellectual).

1966: The World Civilization courses were created by David Levering, in place of western civ; CPP was one of the first universities to do this.

1968:History became a separate department, with Werner Marti as chair. All students were required to write a senior thesis.

1968:Several new historians were hired, including Anthony Brundage (Britain and historiography) and William Evans (US Civil War).


Gloria Lothrop

1970 : Gloria Lothrop (pictured at right) was hired. She was the first woman to join the CPP History Department.

1970s: History Methods (HST 300) and History and Historians (HST 390) classes were created to bring CPP’s History Department into compliance with AHA regulations, and was one of the first departments to do so

Early 1970s: James Kamusikiri was hired to teach African history, George Wong was hired to teach Asian history, and Donald Castro was hired to each Latin American history, expanding the specializations of the faculty beyond US and European history.

1970s and early 1980s: The History Department continued to specialize in California and local history, with four or five California historians on the faculty at once.

1975: John Moore won Outstanding Professor Award

1975: Ralph Shaffer became chair.

1979: Anthony Brundage became chair.

1980: Gloria Lothrop was named Outstanding Professor in the College of Arts.

1981: David Smith became chair.

1986: Stephen Englehart became chair.

1990: Anthony Brundage was named Outstanding Professor for the College of Arts and gave the college commencement address.

1990-1996: As a regional site of the California History-Social Science Project, the History Department received an annual grant from state funds to conduct professional development programs for local K-12 history teachers. Site directors included historians David Levering, Amanda Podany, Tara Sethia, and Judith Anderson.

1991: Donald Castro became chair.

1992: Elise Wirtschafter received a grant from the International Research and Exchanges Board; hosted by the Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of History, Moscow.

1993: Stephen Englehart resumed being chair.

1993: US historians Richard Johnson, Judith Anderson, and John Moore moved from the discontinued American Studies department to become members of the History Department.

1993: Mahmood Ibrahim received a Fulbright/Senior Scholar Teaching/Research Fellowship in Damascus, Syria.

1994-97: Tara Sethia received a multi-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for directing two month-long summer  institutes and a series of follow-up activities on  India and China in Comparative and World History Perspective for K-12 Educators. 

1996: Mahmood Ibrahim became chair.

1996: Elise Wirtschafter received a grant from the National Council for Soviet and East European Research (renamed National Council for Eurasian and East European Research). Her project was "State Building and Social Integration in Imperial Russia."

1996: The History Department hosted the 25thannual meeting of the World History Association. David Smith was the conference program director.

1998: Elise Wirtschafter received a research fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. 

1998: John Moore received a Lifetime Achievement Award, from the United Nations Association USA.

1998-2002: The History Department received a grant called ‘Reading the Past’ from the California Postsecondary Education Commission to provide professional development in history for local elementary school teachers. Paivi Hoikkala and Amanda Podany directed the project.

1999: John Moore was Senior Fulbright Scholar/Lecturer, Tampere, Finland.

2000:John Moore gave the commencement address for the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences.

2000:The History Department inaugurated its MA program.

2004: For his second Fulbright, John Moore was László Országh Distinguished Chair of History in Hungary.

2004: The Ahimsa Center was founded under the leadership of Tara Sethia. The Ahimsa Center has offered professional development for teachers and has hosted annual conferences.

2004:Daniel Lewis became chair.

2004-05: Mahmood Ibrahim received a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant/American Research Center in Egypt.

2005: The History Department hosted history honors society Phi Alpha Theta’s Southern California Regional Conference.

2007: John Moore won the George P. Hart Award for Outstanding Faculty Leadership.

2010-2014:Zuoyue Wang received a research fellowship from the National Science Foundation.

2010:Amanda Podany became chair.

2011:Elise Wirtschafter received the first Provost’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.

2011:Rachel Van received the Columbia University Bancroft Dissertation Prize.

2012:The Lloyd Award was created for best historiography paper, funded by alum Sean Yu in honor of John Lloyd.

2013:The Department began a new cohort-based MA program, admitting nine students as Cohort 1.

2013:Eileen Wallis won the Faculty Award for Civic Engagement.

2013: Amanda Podany received a research fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

2015:Eileen Wallis became chair.

2015: Ira Pemstein provided funding for the Walter Pemstein Award for outstanding student.

Amanda Podany

2015:Amanda Podany (pictured at right) received the Outstanding Advisor Award for CLASS.

2016:Mahmood Ibrahim won the George P. Hart Award for Outstanding Faculty Leadership.

2017:Elise Wirtschafter received a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD); hosted by the University of Tübingen

2017:  Mahmood Ibrahim received a US Department of Education/Fulbright Group Project Award for a program in Morocco.

2019: Eileen Wallis received the Outstanding Advisor Award for CLASS.

2019: Anne Wohlcke became chair.

2021: Tara Sethia was named the inaugural Shri Santinath Endowed Chair in Ahimsa Studies.

2021: Daniel Lewis became chair.