Social Sciences Faculty

School of Arts & Sciences

Social Sciences Faculty

Dr. Kay Decker

Dr. Kay DeckerDr. Kay Decker, M.S., Ed.D.
Department Chair and Professor of Sociology

Recipient of the John Sheffield Teacher of the Year Award, given by the NWOSU-Student Government Association (2013)

Education and Certifications

  • B.A. Ed. -  Social Science Education from Northwestern Oklahoma State University 
  • M.S. - Sociology from Oklahoma State University
  • Ed.D. - Occupational and Adult Education from Oklahoma State University
  • Community Development Certification from Neighbor-Works Corporation, Washington, D.C.
  • Affordable Housing Development Certification from the Housing Assistance Council, Washington, D.C.

Areas of Specialization

  • Racial & Ethnic Studies/Social Diversity
  • Anthropology and American Indians of the Southwest
  • Social Gerontology
  • Social Theory and Research Methods
  • Rural Sociology and Community Development

Professional Accomplishments/Associations

  • Graduate of Oklahoma Arts Leadership
  • Graduate of Educators Leadership and Outstanding Professors Academy
  • Preservation Oklahoma Board of Directors (past President)
  • Executive Director, Freedom West Community Development Corporation
  • Former Advisory Board Member Center for Rural Affairs
  • Advisory Board Member for BJCC-NWOSU Partnership
  • Member, Executive Board for NWOSU Citizenship Institute
  • Board of Governors, former member, for Journal of Free Inquiry
  • Member of Mid-South Sociology Association & Past President Oklahoma Sociology Association

Grant Writing and Presentations

Dr. Kay Decker

Over the past 18 years, Dr. Decker has written grants for rural economic development, community development, health care, affordable housing development and cultural arts programming in excess of $12 million for northwest Oklahoma communities. These federal and state funds have been leveraged with more than $10 million in local resources to benefit rural Oklahoma communities. She presents regularly across the state and region at professional conferences in the field of planning, grant writing, housing and infrastructure development, and cultural heritage promotion.  She has directed the development of the Cultural District Initiative for the City of Alva, Oklahoma, and has initiated regional participation in the Americans for the Arts AEP5 Study—seeking to further understand the power of the arts to community and regional economic development.

Quotes of the Day

  • One person’s problem becomes another person’s opportunity. 
  • All I really need is a little time and a few kind words.
  • When in doubt, ask.
  • Creative problem solving begins with blocks, colors, puzzles, and books.
  • Hard work never hurt anybody.

Jana Brown

Jana BrownJana Brown, M.A.
Social Science Education Coordinator
Instructor of History


  • M.A. in American Studies, Northwestern Oklahoma State University (2014)
  • B.A. in Social Science Education, Northwestern Oklahoma State University (2009)

Areas of Academic Specialization:

  • Social Science Education
  • American History
  • American West
  • Oklahoma History
  • Public History

Professional Accomplishments/Contributions/Pursuits:

Professor Brown came to Northwestern in the fall of 2014 after teaching history, family and consumer sciences, and speech and drama in the high school setting.  She is the Coordinator for the Social Science Education program as well as an instructor of history.  Professor Brown is currently seeking her PhD. in American History, American West, with a minor in Public History from Oklahoma State University. 

Professor Brown’s research includes African American settlement in Northwest Oklahoma as well as other local topics of interest.

Dr. Roger Hardaway

Roger HardawayRoger Hardaway, D.A.
Professor of History

Northwestern - Alva
Jesse Dunn 319B
Phone: (580) 327-8520

Dr. Roger Hardaway is a Professor of History at Northwestern Oklahoma State University (NWOSU) in Alva. He started his career at NWOSU in 1990. He earned undergraduate degrees in History and Political Science. After earning a master’s degree in History, he completed a J.D. degree at Memphis State University (Law) in Tennessee and a D.A. in History at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. Over the years, he has presented at numerous conferences and published widely in newspapers and journals. He also stands as a recognized scholar on the history of African Americans in the West, including the book (co-authored with Monroe Lee Billington) African Americans on the Western Frontier (1998). 

Jim Hunt - Adjunct

Jim Hunt, B.A.Ed.
Adjunct Instructor of Geography


Northwestern - Woodward Campus
Phone:  580-254-1467


  • B.A.Ed./Social Science - Northwestern Oklahoma State University

Ken Kelsey

Ken KelseyKen Kelsey, M.A.
Instructor of Fine Arts and History

School of Arts and Sciences
Northwestern - Alva
(580) 603-0103

Ken Kelsey is an Instructor in the Departments of History and Fine Arts at Northwestern Oklahoma State University.  He teaches a variety of online history courses, ranging from “Ancient Greece” to “US History to 1877,” as well as a series of three, two-credit classes that make up the “Public History Certificate.”  He also teaches “Art in Life,” an art appreciation course for the Fine Arts department.

Mr. Kelsey holds both a BA and MA in History from Oklahoma State University and a MA in Art History from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.  Before moving back to his home state of Oklahoma, Mr. Kelsey worked for ten years in the Education Department of the Dallas Museum of Art, eventually as the Manager of Teaching Programs, where he prepared docents and area educators to teach in the museum.

In addition to his work at NWOSU, Mr. Kelsey also does back-stage work at Enid’s Gaslight Theatre and continues his vineyard work at Longwood Farm west of Ringwood, Oklahoma.

Dr. Aaron Mason

Aaron MasonAaron Mason, Ph.D.
Professor of Political Science

Co-Founder and Executive Director of the NWOSU-Institute for Citizenship Studies (2010)

2014 Oklahoma Political Science Association Teacher of the Year Award


  • B.A. (Political Science) Northeastern State University: Tahlequah, Oklahoma (1994) 
  • M.A. (Political Science) The University of Texas at Arlington: Arlington, Texas (1997)
  • Ph.D. (Political Science) Northern Arizona University: Flagstaff, Arizona (2006)

Areas of Specialization

  • American Political Institutions and Processes
  • Public Policy/Public Administration
  • The U.S. Constitution
  • American Indian Tribal Governments
  • Federalism
  • The Founding Fathers
  • The American Civil War                                                                 

Selected Publishing Activities

  • Indian Country Today. August 23, 2016. "Dwight D. Eisenhower: Tried to Knock Out Jim Thorpe, and Assimilate Indians." By Alysa Landry. Can be retrieved at
  • “Tragedy of the Commons Meets the Anti-commons: Water management and conflict on the southern plains of the United States.” Article published The Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management. Co-authored by Tony Wohlers, John Wood, and Eric Schmaltz.  16, 1450005 (2014), DOI: 10.1142/S1464333214500057. On Line Citation:
  • “Tribal Citizenship: traditional ideas and new realities” Article published in Oklahoma Politics. Volume 20, November 2010. Pages 93-112. The Journal of the Oklahoma Political Science Association.
  • “Lederhosen, Rodeos, and Laptops: Comparisons of Political Culture in Oklahoma and Bavaria in the Age of Globalization.”  (Co-authored by Aaron Mason, Eric Schmaltz and Tony Wohlers.) Article Published in Oklahoma Politics Volume 17, November 2008. Pages 1-37. The Journal of the Oklahoma Political Science Association.
  • “The Changing Face of Tribal Identity: State Recognition of Indian Tribes.” Article published in Oklahoma Politics. Volume 16, Fall 2007. Pages 153-178.The Journal of the Oklahoma Political Science Association. 
  • United States Politics and Democracy: A Supplemental Reader and Workbook by David Camacho. Chapter entitled “Federalism, Tribal Governments, and Sovereignty” Kendall/Hunt Publishing, Dubuque, Iowa. Third Edition (2002)

Selected Grant Writing

  • Successfully obtained grants funded by groups such as the Oklahoma Humanities Council, the Alva Oklahoma Tourism and Convention Development Committee, and the Woodward, Oklahoma Convention and Tourism Board. 

Jeff McAlpin

Jeff McAlpinJeff McAlpin, M.S.
Instructor of Sociology and Criminal Justice and Administrative Director of Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s Community Service Program

Northwestern - Alva
Jesse Dunn 305
Phone: (580) 327-8517                                                                                                                              Email:

Under Jeff McAlpin's direction, Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s Community Service Program provides drug and alcohol treatment to offenders at the Charles E. “Bill” Johnson Correctional Center. Mr. McAlpin has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Northwestern a Master’s of Behavioral Science from Northwestern and 28 hours of Doctoral work in education from Oklahoma State University. His areas of interest include cultural changes, racial and ethnic issues, and drug and alcohol treatment.   

Ashley McDermott

Ashley McDermott, J.D.
Adjunct Instructor of Criminal Justice



580-761-2448 (cell)

580-256-2182 (work)


  • Juris Doctorate, Oklahoma City University
  • B.A. Criminology, University of Oklahoma

Gordon L. Patton - Adjunct

Gordon PattonGordon L. Patton, M.A.

Adjunct Instructor of History and Political Science


Home phone:  580-767-1086 (preferred)

Cell:  580-576-0553 (can call and text)


Education Credentials:

  • Associate of Arts Social Science:  Northern Oklahoma College
  • Bachelor of Arts - History and Political Science:  Northwestern Oklahoma State University 
  • Master of Arts - History:  Oklahoma State University

J.W. Platt - Adjunct

J.W. Platt, M.A.
Instructor of History, Emeritus


Phone number:  620-825-6211

Preferred email:

Education credentials: 

  • B.A. - Northwestern Oklahoma State University
  • M.A. - University of Kansas
  • A.B.D. - University of Kansas

J.W. Platt graduated with a B.A. in History from Northwestern Oklahoma State University and then earned his M.A. in History at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. He spent about eight years in Central America. First, he worked on a Fulbright Research Grant in Guatemala, and then he was a cattle rancher in Costa Rica. After he returned to the United States, he continued to travel in Latin America as an exporter of agricultural equipment, before settling back home in southern Kansas as a farmer-rancher. In 1999, he began adjunct teaching in History at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. In 2003, he was hired as full-time faculty, retiring in 2014.  

Kirk Rogers

Kirk RogersKirk Rogers, M.A.
Instructor of Criminal Justice

Kirk Wayne Rogers is currently an Instructor of Criminal Justice in the Department of Social Sciences in the School of Arts and Science at Northwestern in Alva, Oklahoma, and has been employed in this capacity since August of 2008.

Mr. Rogers earned an Associate’s of Science in Psychology from Pratt Community College in Pratt, Kansas; a Bachelor’s of Science in Law Enforcement from Northwestern; and a Masters of Arts in Criminal Justice from Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas.  Mr. Rogers is currently a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Criminal Justice in the School of Public Policy and Administration at Walden University in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he is working on his Doctorate of Philosophy in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Emergency Management.

Prior to beginning his teaching career, Mr. Rogers served as the Chief Of Police for the Attica Police Department in Attica, Kansas; was elected twice as the Sheriff of Harper County, Kansas; served as a District Attorney’s Investigator for the District One District Attorney’s Office in Guymon, Oklahoma; served as a Narcotics Investigator for the District Sheriff’s Multi-County Jurisdictional Narcotics Task Force in Northwest Oklahoma; and served as a Patrol Officer and Narcotics Investigator for the Alva Police Department in Alva, Oklahoma.  Mr. Rogers has served on the Board of Directors for numerous law enforcement associations, including the Association of Oklahoma Narcotic Enforcers and the Kansas Narcotic Officer’s Association.  In addition, Mr. Rogers was also previously appointed as a Committee Member for the Legislative Affairs Committee and as a Committee Member for the Drug Enforcement Committee, for the National Sheriff’s Association.  Mr. Rogers has received several awards and honors throughout his criminal justice career, and was recognized as the Northwest Oklahoma Narcotics Officer of the Year in 1996.  In addition to his career in law enforcement, Mr. Rogers also served as a Medical Specialist in the Kansas Army National Guard and the Oklahoma Army National Guard from 1992 to 1998.

Mr. Rogers has also been a volunteer firefighter for the past twenty-five years with agencies like the Attica District #1 Volunteer Fire Department in Attica, Kansas, and the Capron Volunteer Fire Department in Capron, Oklahoma.  He is currently a member of the Attica District #1 Volunteer Fire Department, where he served as the Fire Chief for the Attica District #1 Volunteer Fire Department from January of 2010 until January of 2019.  In addition to his work as a volunteer firefighter, Mr. Rogers is also a certified Emergency Medical Responder with the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, and is a licensed Emergency Medical Responder in the State of Oklahoma and the State of Kansas.  In addition to his teaching responsibilities at Northwestern, Mr. Rogers also currently works as a part-time Emergency Medical Responder for the Harper County Emergency Medical Service in Harper County, Kansas, where he served as the interim Captain in charge of emergency medical operations from September of 2017 to February of 2018, and as a part-time Deputy Sheriff for the Barber County Sheriff’s Office in Barber County, Kansas.

Dr. Eric J. Schmaltz

Dr. Eric Schmaltz

Eric J. Schmaltz, Ph.D.
Professor of History and Global Studies

Co-Founder and Executive Director of the NWOSU-Institute for Citizenship Studies (2010)

2014 John Barton Distinguished Teaching and Service Award - Northwestern Oklahoma State University

Recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) “Choice Academic Book of the Year Award” for 2005 - article contributor to published international compilation (2006)



  • Ph.D. in History, University of Nebraska at Lincoln (2002)
  • M.A. in History, University of North Dakota at Grand Forks (1996)
  • B.A. in History and German Language (graduated summa cum laude), Saint Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota (1994) – Spring Term Study Abroad (1993), University of Paderborn in Paderborn, Germany

Areas of Academic Specialization:

  • Modern European History (Germany, Russia, and Eurasia)
  • Ethnic/Nationalities Studies (Genocide, Nationalism, Nazi Holocaust, Soviet Nationalities Policies)
  • Cultural, Intellectual, and Religious History
  • German from Russia Diaspora (German Global Migrations and Transnationalism)

Organizational Affiliations and Memberships/Professional Duties:

  • Academic Advisory Board, Volga German Institute at Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut
  • American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AHSGR)
  • Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES)
  • Board of Academic Advisors, Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University, Portland, Oregon
  • Co-executive Director, NWOSU Institute for Citizenship Studies (
  • Co-senior Editor, Civitas:  Journal of Citizenship Studies, NWOSU Institute for Citizenship Studies (
  • Editor, Heritage Review (Germans from Russia Heritage Society)
  • Editorial Board, Journal of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia
  • Germans from Russia Heritage Society (GRHS)
  • Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS)
  • Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society
  • Phi Beta Kappa (Academic)
  • Pi Gamma Mu (Social Sciences)
  • Society for German American Studies (SGAS)
  • World History Association (WHA)
  • Western Social Science Association (WSSA)

Professional Accomplishments/Contributions/Pursuits:

Dr. Schmaltz has taught American, European, and World History at NWOSU since 2005.  His area of academic specialization concerns ethnic Germans in Russia and the former USSR and German Diaspora.  In connection with his education, research interests, and professional development, he has traveled across the United States and to fourteen countries on four continents (Africa, Europe, North America, and South America).

Despite significant teaching commitments, he has spoken over the past three decades at more than one hundred conferences and public events here and abroad.  He has also produced numerous original articles and German- and Russian-language translations for publication in the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AHSGR) in Lincoln, Nebraska, the Germans from Russia Heritage Society (GRHS) in Bismarck, North Dakota, and the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection at the North Dakota State University (GRHC NDSU) Libraries in Fargo.  His many other contributions have appeared either online or in newsletters, local newspapers, and interdisciplinary academic journals such as Ethnic and Racial Studies, Eurasia Studies Society Journal, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, Journal of Genocide Research, Nationalities Papers, Oklahoma Politics, and Yearbook of the Society for German American Studies, as well as in international anthologies by Berghahn Books (New York and Oxford), De Gruyter Publishing (Berlin), the Federal Institute for Culture and History of Germans in Eastern Europe (Oldenburg), the German Cultural Forum of Eastern Europe (Potsdam), and K. G. Saur Verlag (Munich).

In 2003, the GRHC NDSU in Fargo published his monograph, An Expanded Bibliography and Reference Guide for the Former Soviet Union’s Germans.​  He was among a group of recipients of the prestigious American Library Association (ALA) “Choice Academic Book of the Year Award” for 2005, contributing an article to the international compilation edited by Michael Fahlbusch and Ingo Haar:  German Scholars and Ethnic Cleansing, 1919-1945 (Oxford and New York:  Berghahn Books, 2005). 

Additionally, he has secured a number of successful mini- and major grants through the Oklahoma Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

In 2014, he also received the John Barton Distinguished Teaching and Service Award at NWOSU.  Besides editing duties, he continues to work long term on various articles, translation pieces, and  a number of anticipated book projects for publication.

Jason Seigars - Adjunct

Jason SeigarsJason Seigars, J.D.
Adjunct Instructor

Northwestern - Enid

Judge Jason Seigars was appointed Special District Judge in Garfield County in January of 2017. Judge Seigars graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University and received his Juris Doctor Degree, with Honor, from the University of Tulsa, College of Law in 2011. While attending law school, Judge Seigars was the Editor-in-Chief of the Energy Bar Journal, received the Sustainable Energy and Natural Resources Law Certificate, served an internship with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma, and served as a clerk for Tulsa County Special Judge Mary Fitzgerald.

Prior to attending law school, Judge Seigars served as the Assistant Juvenile Officer for the District Courts of Garfield County, working with deprived and delinquent children dockets. Following law school, Judge Seigars returned to Enid to serve as an Assistant District Attorney for the Garfield County District Attorney’s Office beginning in 2011.

Just prior to his appointment, Judge Seigars was the Managing Attorney for Garfield County, the Crimes Against Children Prosecutor, the Major Crimes Prosecutor, and was a 2016 recipient of the District Four District Attorney’s Guardian Award for Excellence in Prosecution.

Judge Seigars has been a course instructor for the Oklahoma Reserve Deputy CLEET Academy teaching Evidence and Juvenile Law.  In addition, Judge Seigars has been a presenter for Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) training in Garfield County for numerous sessions since 2006.  These presentations include “CASA and the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)” and “CASA and the Courts (Prosecution).”  In addition, he has presented to several civic, educational, and law enforcement groups regarding juvenile and criminal law. 

Judge Seigars was a recipient of the Spirit of the Family Award from the Community Development Support Association (CDSA) Smart Start Program. He is a former member of the Board of Directors for CDSA, Youth and Family Services, and Crimestoppers of Garfield County. Judge Seigars was also a recipient of the Garfield County Bar Association’s Outstanding Young Lawyer Award for 2015, and has served on the Awards Committee and the Bench and Bar Committee for the Garfield County Bar Association.

Ruth Welters-Smith - Adjunct

Ruth Welters-SmithRuth Welters-Smith, M.A.
Adjunct Instructor of Criminal Justice since 2011 at NWOSU


Jesse Dunn 311A
Northwestern - Alva
Phone: (580) 327-8111

Degrees Held:

  • Bachelors of Arts in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminology and a minor in Women’s Studies from Kansas State University
  • Masters of Arts in Criminal Justice from Wichita State University

Areas of Specialization:

  • Corrections
  • Case Management
  • Background Investigation
  • Diversion Coordinator
  • LSI-R Certified (Level of Service Inventory)
  • Moral Reconation Therapy Certified – Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Classes taught regularly:

  • Criminal Justice Administration and Management
  • Organization of the Criminal Justice Systems
  • Probation, Parole, and Community Treatment
  • Introduction to Corrections
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Deviant Behavior

Special Interest:

  • Human Trafficking 
Northwestern Oklahoma State University

709 Oklahoma Blvd., Alva, OK 73717
Phone: (580) 327-1700

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