NSU Alums in History

Northeastern History, Social Studies Education, & American Studies graduates in positions in and beyond the public school classroom.

Jay Hannah

Jay Hannah, a 1977 graduate of Northeastern State University with a minor in history, is Executive Vice President of Financial Services for BancFirst, Oklahoma's largest state-chartered bank. Jay recently commented that he "almost had enough history hours for a double major; and wish now that I had made the effort." He earned a Master's Degree from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. Active in issues of higher education, Jay has served 20 years as a trustee for the Northeastern State University Foundation, Chairman of the university's Centennial Campaign and is currently on the President's Advisory Council.

His professional education includes the Bank Marketing School at Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, Illinois, Graduate School of Bank Marketing at the University of Colorado, and the American Bankers Association's National Commercial Lending School, University of Oklahoma. A community banker for over 30 years in Oklahoma, Jay has served as a bank president in both Guthrie and Tahlequah. He has served as key instructor for the Oklahoma Bankers Association's Commercial Lending, Intermediate, and Basic Banking Schools and the association's leadership program over the past 20+ years. He received the OBA Chairman's Award for his teaching service to the association in 2003 and is a presenter at the association's Leadership Program.

While living in Guthrie, he was active in Guthrie's historical preservation movement and economic development efforts. He is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma's Charter Class. A Citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Jay has served as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Cherokee Nation and as Chairman of the Nation's 1999 Constitution Convention and as Board Chairman of Cherokee Nation Businesses, the Nation's holding company for all enterprise operations. A frequent lecturer and writer on native constitutional reform, Jay was a participant in Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government Executive Sessions and was a presenter at the Federal Bar Conference, Native American Indian Congress, Harvard University Law School and various native legal venues. His publications are found in the Arizona State University Law Journal and the Federal Bar Association's symposium briefs on tribal sovereignty.

Dr. Philip D. Smith

Dr. Philip D. Smith, a 1981 NSU history graduate, is an assistant professor of history at Tulsa Community College and author of a novel, Then Sings My Soul, published in June 2014. After completing his bachelor s, Smith spent five years in the U.S. Army, including tours as a Special Operations Interrogator and a United States propaganda writer at John F. Kennedy Warfare Center, Ft. Bragg, N.C. He earned a master's degree in history from the University of Tulsa in 1982 and a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University in 2009. He taught history at Charles Page High School from 1992 to 1995, at Oologah High School from 1995 to 2005, and accepted his current position at TCC in 2008. Smith's novel traces the saga of members of a Tulsa family struggling to survive the death of their husband and father who was killed during the D-Day invasion of June 1944. "The education I received at Northeastern State well prepared me for the rigors of not only graduate school but life itself," Smith said.

Jack Reavis

Jack Reavis, who earned a B.A. in Social Studies Education in 1993 and an M.A. in American Studies in 2012, at Northeastern, is a public school teacher at Muskogee High School. He teaches AP History, Pre-AP European History, AP Government & Politics, and U.S. History. In 2014 he is in his 19th year of teaching. He is also an assistant coach for the girls basketball and volleyball teams and Social Studies Department Chair. As a member of the Muskogee Education Association, Jack has held many roles and now serves on the negotiations team. Jack has been the Muskogee Public Schools Teacher of the Year and was honored as Muskogee Public School's Teacher of the Month for October 2014. Before teaching Jack was the nutrition and dietary manager for Go Ye Village. Jack attends LifeChurch Muskogee and is a member of the Cherokee Nation, the National Rifle Association, and an Eagle Scout. He also published an article in the Chronicles of Oklahoma, Summer 2013 on the notorious Cherokee County convicted felon, Rex Brinley. Reavis, a resident of Muskogee, is the Democratic candidate for state House of Representatives.

Stan King

Stan King graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1990 with a Bachelor's Degree in History Education. He spent the first ten years of his teaching career in Porter, Oklahoma, where he taught high school history and government and served as Head Softball Coach, Head Baseball Coach, and Head Football Coach. After a one-year stint at Hilldale Schools in Muskogee, he came to Tahlequah Public Schools, his alma mater. He is currently teaching high school history and serves as Assistant Athletic Director, Assistant Wrestling Coach, Assistant High School Football Coach, Assistant 8th Grade Football Coach, and Head Junior High Baseball Coach. Stan is the President of TEA, a position he has held since 2011. He serves as History Department Head and has served as Curriculum Coordinator for History. He was named the Tahlequah Teacher of the Year in 2011-2012.

Dr. Jeanie Rountree Webb

Dr. Jeanie Rountree Webb, a social studies major, who earned a B.A.Ed. 1982 and M.S., 1983, from Northeastern, became the the seventh president of Rose State College in Midwest City on July 1, 2013, after serving as the college's vice president of student affairs for 12 years.

Selected for the presidency because of her broad background and experience in higher education administration, plus her energetic and enthusiastic approach to the development of new programs, she will provide our students with the foundation needed to succeed in life, according to the president of the college's Board of Regents.

Webb began her career teaching at Northeastern as an instructor, progressing to associate professor. She then served as assistant vice president of academic affairs and dean of the NSU campuses where she was responsible for the design and development of the three campuses.

She earned a doctoral degree from Oklahoma State University, was a Kellogg Fellow at the University of Oklahoma, and did postdoctoral work at OU and Harvard University.

Webb is married to Roger Webb, former president of Northeastern and the University of Central Oklahoma. She is the first female president in the history of Rose State.

Justin Castro

Justin Castro graduated with a B.A. in history from Northeastern State University in 2005 and subsequently obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma in 2013. Currently, Justin is an assistant professor at Arkansas State University where he teaches Latin American and world history.

He has published articles in the Chronicles of Oklahoma, Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos, The Latin Americanist, and the Latin American Research Review. His first book Radio and Revolution: Wireless Technology and State Power in Mexico, 1897-1938 is forthcoming from University of Nebraska Press.

Bob Ballinger

Bob Ballinger is a practicing attorney licensed in Arkansas with an office in Berryville and Springdale, and is the owner and manager of a small title company. He lives in Hindsville, Arkansas, with his wife Jessica and has six children, ages 19 to 11 months.

In November of 2012 Ballinger was elected to the Arkansas State House of Representatives for District 97 which includes parts of Carroll, Madison, and Washington Counties. In the House he serves on the Judiciary Committee, Agriculture, Forestry, and Economic Development Committee, Joint Performance Review Committee, Energy Committee, Parks and Tourism Committee, and is the chairman of the Juvenile Justice Committee. Ballinger is also the Caucus Judiciary Chair and the Second Amendment advisor for the Caucus.

Ballinger graduated high school in Tulsa, OK, and obtained his BA in Social Studies from Northeastern State University, where he graduated magna cum laude, served as President of Phi Alpha Theta (historical honor society), and was a member of the Redman football team. After graduation he held an Oklahoma State Teacher Certification in Social Studies and taught and coached in public schools in Sapulpa.

Ballinger completed his JD in December 2004 at the University of Arkansas School of Law where he graduated with honors, was on staff of the Arkansas Law Review, was a recipient of the Charles Thomas Pearson Fellowship for promoting professional ethics in the legal profession, and served as Executive V.P. of the Federalist Society.

Steven F. Garrett

Steven F. Garrett earned a B.A. in history in 1987 from Northeastern State University. After college, Garrett worked for several years as a journalist in Northeastern Oklahoma before becoming the Community Development Director for the Eastern Oklahoma Development District from 1991 to 1997. As Community Development Director, he assisted communities in seven counties with grant programs and community and economic development planning. He began his career in city management in 1997. Since that time he has served as City Manager for the communities of Mannford, Oklahoma, Stockton and Hillsboro, Kansas, and Webb City and Smithville, Missouri. He attributes much of his success to lessons learned from the professors of the NSU History Department. My education at NSU prepared me well for my current position, said Garrett. Learning to research well and communicate that information effectively has been one of my greatest assets.

David Adams

David Adams earned a B.A. in history in 1996 from Northeastern State University. When he started attending NSU, David's career goal was to be a public school teacher. On the recommendation of a NSU History Professor, David applied for a position with the Social Security Administration. While I will always love the study of History, working for the Social Security Administration has been a very rewarding experience. The best decision I ever made was listening to career advice from my professors at NSU. David started his career with the Social Security Administration in Muskogee Oklahoma in 1994. Over his 20-year career with Social Security, he has worked in Batesville Arkansas, Leesville Louisiana, and El Dorado Arkansas. David is currently the District Manager of the Fort Smith District Office.

Dr. G. Erik Zoellner

Dr. G. Erik Zoellner (gezoellner@gmail.com)earned a B.A. in history in 1985 and an M.A. in College Teaching in 1989 from Northeastern State University and a doctoral degree in higher education administration from Oklahoma State University in 2004. He was the transfer coordinator of the TRIO Program at Rogers State College, Claremore, and served as dean of student services at Tulsa Community College from 1997-2004. In the latter year he was appointed vice president of student services at Panola College in Carthage, Texas. In 2007 he accepted a similar position at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas. In 2010, he was named Vice President, Student Services at College of the Marshall Islands, but returned to Oklahoma a year later when fire destroyed his residence. In Tulsa he pursued several business ventures, serving as a consultant at Dr. Zoellner & Associates. After the election of Jim Bridenstine as Congressman for Oklahoma's First Congressional District, Zoellner was appointed as his Deputy District Director.

Lori Lewis

Lori Lewis (llewis.bamuseum@yahoo.com) received a B.A. degree in Political Science from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 2001 and an M.A. in American Studies from Northeastern State University in 2011. While working on her M.A., she undertook an internship at the Broken Arrow Historical Society Museum. While there, she applied her research skills several projects, including a history of Main Street. After her internship, she trained as a museum docent. After graduating in May 2011, she volunteered at the museum until a paid position opened in March of 2012. As a volunteer, she worked on exhibits, research, artifacts and other duties. In May 2013, the board of directors hired her as Museum Director. As director, her duties include research, artifact care, tour management, programming, and fundraising. She is a member of the Oklahoma Museum Association, Oklahoma Historical Society and the American Alliance of Museums.

Anna M. Eddings

Anna M. Eddings (aeddings@ou.edu) received a B.A. degree in History from Northeastern State University in 1996 and a M.A. degree in History with an emphasis in Applied History from Oklahoma State University in 1998. Her degree requirements at OSU included an internship with the Tulsa Urban Development Department, participating in the historic preservation functions of city planning. Since 2000, she has been employed as Historian/Architectural Historian with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) Cultural Resources Program. Anna assists in fulfilling ODOT's obligations under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act by surveying areas of potential effect for transportation construction and enhancement projects to identify historic resources and assess their eligibility for the National Register of Historic Places. This job entails writing Cultural Resources Survey Reports, completing Historic Preservation Resource Identification Forms, and conducting statewide historic bridge surveys.

Diane Eilenstein

Diane Eilenstein (Diane_Eilenstein@nps.gov), a park ranger with the National Park Service at the George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond, Missouri, earned a bachelor of arts in social studies education from Northeastern in May 2000. She was a Student Conservation Association intern at the Carver National Monument during the summer of 1999 and did her student teaching at Charles Page High School in Sand Springs that fall. In the spring of 2000, Diane participated in the Student Career Experience Program, in which she was employed by the National Park Service in partnership with NSU at the Carver site. The following summer, she was employed full-time as a park ranger there, where her duties included interpreter, education program manager, and volunteer program manager. Diane considered her education at Northeastern a pivotal experience in her life. She wrote, "The outstanding faculty delivered challenging curriculum and the student teaching experience was excellent. I felt well prepared to enter the workforce as an educator. I chose to work for the National Park Service and use my background in education daily." George Washington Carver National Monument is the birthplace and childhood home of the famed scientist, educator and humanitarian. Born into slavery on the Moses Carver farm in southwest Missouri during the Civil War, Carver overcame racial barriers and other obstacles as he pursued an education. In 1896 he earned a Master of Agriculture from Iowa State College and moved to Tuskegee Institute where he built a career in agriculture, leaving a legacy of service to mankind.

David Fowler

David Fowler (murrellhome@okhistory.org), Site Director of the George M. Murrell Historic Home, at Park Hill, Oklahoma, earned a Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Native American Studies from Northeastern in 1996. After graduation David worked for Oklahoma Natural Gas, but in 2001 he made a career move because he wanted to do something more related to college training. "An opening came up at Fort Gibson, and I decided it was time to put my history degree to work," he explained. Employed by the Oklahoma Historical Society, David spent eight years as an historical interpreter at Fort Gibson Military Park, where he directed all the educational programs, the volunteers, and the collections. During his tenure he organized and participated in historical reenactments depicting life at the frontier post at various periods in its history. In addition to drawing large numbers of people to the site, the reenactments provided a new perspective on the important role the post had played in the pioneer era of Oklahoma. When the long-time director of the historic Murrell Home, the state's only remaining antebellum residence, retired in the summer of 2009, David was named to replace her. The appointment was a good fit; a native of Claremore and citizen of the Cherokee Nation, David is a descendant of the pioneers whose history he is responsible for preserving and presenting at the Park Hill site.

Lisa Conard Frost

Lisa Conard Frost (Lisa_Conard_Frost@nps.gov) is the superintendent at the Fort Smith National Historical Site. Before transferring to Fort Smith Lisa was superintendent at the Washita Battlefield National Historic site, located in Cheyenne, OK., served at the Oklahoma City National Memorial, and at Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site in St. Louis. An Oklahoma native, Lisa is a tribal member of the Cherokee Nation. She holds a bachelor's degree in history from Northeastern and a master's degree in human relations from the University of Oklahoma. As the park superintendent, Lisa leads the NPS staff and oversees the entire park operations, including administrative, facility and interpretive management and preserving and protecting the cultural and natural resources for this and future generations. At the Washita Battlefield National Historic Site, she interpreted the setting along the Washita River where Lt. Col. George A. Custer led the 7th U.S. Cavalry on a surprise dawn attack against the Southern Cheyenne village of Peace Chief Black Kettle on November 27, 1868. The attack was an important event in the tragic clash of cultures of the Indian Wars era.

Amanda (Burnett) Pritchett

Amanda (Burnett) Pritchett (murrellhome@okhistory.org) graduated from NSU with a Bachelor's degree in History and a Bachelor's degree in Meetings and Destination Management in 2005. In 2007, she earned a Master of Arts degree in American Studies from NSU. She is currently employed as a Historical Interpreter at the George M. Murrell Home, an 1845 historic house museum in Park Hill, Oklahoma. As an undergraduate, Amanda interned with the museum and was then hired part-time. After graduation, she went to work as a historian at the Five Civilized Tribes museum, working with collections and designing exhibits. In 2007, she was hired at the Murrell Home as a full-time interpreter and gift shop manager. Her duties include management of museum collections, exhibit design, tours, event planning, education programs, and managing the museum's gift shop.