Social Sciences Faculty

School of Arts & Sciences

Social Sciences Faculty

Dr. Eric J. Schmaltz 

Dr. Eric SchmaltzEric J. Schmaltz, Ph.D.
Department Chair and Professor of History and Global Studies 

Donovan Reichenberger Chair in History (2021) 

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

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

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-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 (Global Migrations and Transnationalism)

Organizational Affiliations and Memberships/Professional Duties:

  • American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AHSGR)
  • Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES)
  • Board of Academic Advisors, Volga German Institute at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville
  • Co-Executive Director, NWOSU Institute for Citizenship Studies (
  • Co-Senior Editor, Civitas:  Journal of Citizenship Studies, NWOSU Institute for Citizenship Studies (
  • Council Member (NWOSU Representative on the Council of Research for Regional Universities), Oklahoma Research Day (ORD)
  • Editor-at-Large, Heritage Review (Germans from Russia Heritage Society) - Editor from 2010 to 2020
  • 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)

Professional Accomplishments/Contributions/Pursuits:

Dr. Eric J. Schmaltz has taught American, European, and World History at NWOSU since 2005 and began serving as Departmental Chair of Social Sciences in 2019.  In 2014, he was awarded the John Barton Distinguished Teaching and Service Award at NWOSU (nominated four other times as well).  He also was named the Donovan Reichenberger Chair in History in 2021.

Born into a family of educators, he has lived thus far in seven U.S. states (Arizona, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Oklahoma), a couple of them more than once in different communities.  In connection with his education, research interests, and professional development, he has traveled across the United States and to sixteen countries (Argentina, Austria, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Moldova, the Netherlands [Holland], Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Vatican City) on four continents (Africa, Europe, North America, and South America).

His area of academic specialization concerns ethnic Germans in Russia and the former USSR and German Diaspora.  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 magazines, newsletters, local newspapers, and interdisciplinary academic journals such as Academic Questions, Ethnic and Racial StudiesEurasia Studies Society JournalHolocaust and Genocide StudiesJournal of Environmental Assessment Policy and ManagementJournal of Genocide ResearchNationalities Papers, Oklahoma Politics, and Yearbook of the Society for German American Studies, as well as in edited volumes 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), K. G. Saur Verlag (Munich), and Lexington Press (Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc.).  Two forthcoming book reviews will also be published in the scholarly journals Central European History and Great Plains Quarterly.

In 2003, the GRHC NDSU in Fargo published his monograph, An Expanded Bibliography and Reference Guide for the Former Soviet Union’s Germans.​  He also 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 (OHC) and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  He also has collaborated with OHC on a couple of podcasts concerning historical topics of interest.

In February 2022, he received an invitation from the Menno Simons Lecture Series Committee at Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas, to be their featured guest speaker in the fall of 2024.  This series promotes the work of scholars and church leaders relating to Anabaptist-Mennonite history, thought, and culture.  Preparations are underway on what topics will be included for the two public presentations and the one campus undergraduate engagement.  Established in 1950 by the John P. and Carolina Schrag Kaufman family, the Menno Simons Lecture Series is the oldest and most distinguished lecture series on the Bethel College campus.  Bethel College also stands as the oldest Mennonite institution of higher learning in North America. 

Besides editing duties, he continues to work on various academic projects for presentation and publication.

Not least of all, he is a lifelong enthusiast of many musical styles and traditions (J.S. Bach is his favorite composer), and he remains the best friend of cats and dogs.

Jana Brown Pittman

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



  • ABD in History, Oklahoma State University (Currently)
  • 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 Pittman 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 Pittman is currently seeking her PhD. in American History, American West, with a minor in Public History from Oklahoma State University. 

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

Sarah Fry

Sarah FrySarah Fry, M.A.
Instructor of Criminal Justice and Sociology



  • Professor Fry is currently completing her Ph.D. in Sociology from Pennsylvania State University.
  • M.A. (Criminology) The Pennsylvania State University: State College, Pennsylvania (2015) 
  • B.A. (Anthropology/Sociology)Westminster College: Fulton, Missouri (2012)

Areas of Academic Specialization:

  • Policing
  • Corrections
  • Consequences of Correctional Involvement
  • Sociology of Crime and Deviance
  • Social Stratification 
  • Quantitative Research Methods                                                                

Organizational Affiliations and Memberships/Professional Duties:

  • American Society of Criminology
  • American Sociological Association

Professional Accomplishments/Contributions/Pursuits:

  • Fry, Sarah. 2017. “Patterns of Force and the ‘Dangerous Class’: Does Local Context Predict Police Use of Force?” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, panel on “Threat Perspectives and Policing,” Philadelphia, PA.
  • Fry, Sarah and Brandy Parker. 2017. “Stress Proliferation through Father's Incarceration: Collateral Consequences for Young Children's Physical Health.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, panel on “Health and Well-being,” Montréal, Canada.
  • Parker, Brandy and Sarah Fry. 2017 “Not Without a Price: The Influence of Conviction on Illegal Earnings.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, roundtable on “Crime, Law, and Deviance,” Montréal, Canada.
  • Yetter, Alyssa, Corina Graif, and Sarah Fry. 2017. “Public and Subsidized Housing.” Pp. 616-623 in The American Middle Class: An Economic Encyclopedia of Progress and Poverty. Edited by Robert Rycroft. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood.
  • Fry, Sarah and Brandy Parker. 2016. “Collateral Consequences of Father’s Incarceration for Child’s Physical Health.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, panel on “Children of Incarcerated Parents,” New Orleans, LA.
  • Parker, Brandy and Sarah Fry. 2016. “Does Incarceration Influence Future Illegal Earnings? Examining Within-Person Changes in Incarceration Status and Illegal Earnings.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, panel on “Alternative Perspectives to Understanding Persistence and Desistance from Offending,” New Orleans, LA.
  • Sarah Fry. 2015. “Neighborhoods of Activity and Immigrant Generational Status in Los Angeles County.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, panel on “The Effects of Parenting and Mobility on Delinquency,” Washington, DC.

Favorite Quote:

"If [people] define situations as real, they are real in their consequences." – Dorothy Swaine Thomas and William Isaac Thomas

Dr. Roger Hardaway

Roger HardawayRoger Hardaway, D.A.
Professor of History


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). 

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


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

Areas of Academic 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


  • Jesse Dunn 305
  • (580) 327-8517                                                                                                                             

Areas of Academic Specialization:

  • Cultural influences/shifts
  • Juvenile Delinquency
  • Criminology

Organizational Affiliations and Memberships/Professional Duties: 

  • Administrative Director NWOSU-Community Service Program @Charles E. "Bill" Johnson Correctional Center
  • President of Alva Goldbug Educational Foundation
  • Member of American Correctional Association
  • Member Oklahoma Sociological Association
  • Member Oklahoma Correctional Association

Mr. McAlpin has been counseling and teaching in the areas of sociology, youth and corrections since 1999. He and his staff helped to streamline the drug/alcohol treatment program at the Charles E. "Bill" Johnson Correctional Center (BJCC) and recently examined four year's data from that program to show a recidivism rate of 22% much lower than the national average of 65%. Mr. McAlpin has served on faculty senate, serves on various committees at both Northwestern and BJCC, serves as President of the Alva Golbug Education Foundation, which uses the interest from a $500,000 endowment to assist teachers and students academically in the local Alva school system. The community Service Program at BJCC has provided professional "hands on" academic opportunities to students in the disciplines of psychology, sociology, social work and criminal justice. Many of these individuals have gone on to be qualified professionals or entrepreneurs in their fields. The staff of the Community Service Program are currently working towards development of updated curriculum and data collection for drug/alcohol treatment at BJCC and its possible expansion within the state correctional system.

Kirk Rogers

Kirk Rogers

Kirk Rogers, M.A.
Instructor of Criminal Justice



  • M.A. (Criminal Justice) Wichita State University
  • M.A. (American Studies) Northwestern Oklahoma State University
  • B.S. (Law Enforcement) Northwestern Oklahoma State University 

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 Oklahoma State University 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 Oklahoma State University in Alva, Oklahoma; a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice from Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas; and a Master of Arts in American Studies from Northwestern Oklahoma State University.

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 was also a volunteer firefighter for almost 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.  As a member of the Attica District #1 Volunteer Fire Department, Mr. Rogers served as the Fire Chief for the Attica District #1 Volunteer Fire Department from January of 2010 until January of 2019.  In addition to the training that he received as a volunteer firefighter, Mr. Rogers was also able to obtain his certification as an Emergency Medical Responder with the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, and was able to obtain his license as an Emergency Medical Responder in the State of Oklahoma and the State of Kansas.  

In addition to his teaching responsibilities at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, 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 Police Officer for the Harper Police Department in Harper, Kansas.  Since 2020, Mr. Rogers has also served as an Airman in the Kansas Air National Guard, where he works in Sustainment Services for the 184th Intelligence Wing, Force Support Squadron, stationed at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas.

Dr. Kay Decker - Adjunct

Dr. Kay DeckerDr. Kay Decker, M.S., Ed.D.
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 Academic 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:

Over the 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

Jim Hunt - Adjunct

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



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

Gordon L. Patton - Adjunct

Gordon Patton

Gordon 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)


  • 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

Areas of Academic Specialization:

  • Colonial America
  • Revolutionary War
  • Presidential History
  • Railroad History
  • US Constitution

Classes Taught:

  • US History to 1877
  • Latin American History
  • American Federal Government
  • U.S. Foreign Policy
  • International Relations
  • Comparative Government

Jason Seigars - Adjunct

Jason SeigarsJason Seigars, J.D.
Adjunct Instructor


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 



  • 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:

  • 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 
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