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University of Central Oklahoma (405) 974-5491 History and Geography LAN 200D , Box 164


Patti Loughlin is a professor of history in the Department of History and Geography at the University of Central Oklahoma. She served as department chairperson from 2014-18. Patti specializes in the history of the American West, women’s and gender history and American Indian history. She is a Transformative Learning Scholar in the College of Liberal Arts and the Office of Academic Affairs.

She serves on the board of directors of the Oklahoma Historical Society and participates as a scholar in the Oklahoma Humanities "Let’s Talk About It Oklahoma" book discussion program. She is a member of the Coalition for Western Women’s History and the Western History Association, and serves on the editorial board of the Chronicles of Oklahoma.

Her book, Hidden Treasures of the American West: Muriel H. Wright, Angie Debo and Alice Marriott (University of New Mexico Press, 2005), received the Outstanding Book on Oklahoma History from the Oklahoma Historical Society and the Director's Award and Finalist in Nonfiction from the Oklahoma Center for the Book in 2006. She coauthored Building Traditions, Educating Generations: A History of the University of Central Oklahoma (Oklahoma Heritage Association, 2007) with Bob Burke and co-edited Main Street Oklahoma: An American Story (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2013) with Linda Reese. Her book Angie Debo, Daughter of the Prairie (Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Hall of Fame, 2017), received the 2018 Oklahoma Book Award for children/young adult. She is coeditor of This Land is Herland: Gendered Activism in Oklahoma from the 1870s to the 2010s with Sarah Eppler Janda (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2021). Currently, she is writing an Oklahoma history textbook for high school students with Sarah Janda, under contract with the University of Oklahoma Press. Loughlin's latest project is a biography of Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant, a journalist and Pueblo sovereignty advocate, and her work with Willa Cather, John Collier, and Edward Dozier.


Education and Certifications

  • Ph.D. in History, Oklahoma State University, 2000
  • M.A. in History, Pepperdine University, 1996
  • B.A. in History, Pepperdine University, 1993

Classes Taught

  • HIST 1493 - History of the US since 1877
  • HIST 3113 - Historical Research
  • HIST 3233 - US Women's History
  • HIST 4303/5303 - Indians of the Southwest
  • HIST 4413/5413 - Women/Gender in Native America
  • HIST 4423/5423 - Women in the American West
  • HIST 4723/5723 - American West
  • HIST 4873/5873 - History of the US, 1945 to Present
  • HIST 5043 - Graduate Research Seminar

Honors and Awards

Outstanding Scholarship/Creative Activity Award, College of Liberal Arts, UCO, 2020

Transformative Learning Scholar, Academic Affairs, UCO, 2019-present

On-Campus Faculty Regular Grant, Office of Research & Sponsored Programs, UCO, 2018

John Topham and Susan Redd Butler Off-Campus Faculty Research Award, Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, Brigham Young University, 2018

STLR-funded projects featuring student researchers for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project in partnership with the American Red Cross, UCO, 2016, 2017

Scholar Research Grant, Oklahoma Humanities Council, 2013

Research Grant, College of Liberal Arts, UCO, 2013

Outstanding Service Award, College of Liberal Arts, UCO, 2011

Faculty Member of the Year, College of Liberal Arts, UCO, 2010

Educators' Leadership Academy, 2010-11

Academic Affairs Leadership Fellow, UCO, 2009-10

New Faculty Member of the Year, College of Liberal Arts, UCO, 2006

Vanderford Faculty Award in support of undergraduate research, UCO, 2006

Professional and Community Involvement

American Democracy Project

At the university level, I have enjoyed serving as director of the American Democracy Project from 2007-2013, fostering a spirit of civic engagement among faculty, staff, and graduate and undergraduate students. The American Democracy Project is a national civic engagement initiative sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities under the leadership of Academic Affairs. In partnership with the American Democracy Project, The New York Times Readership Program is a transformative learning initiative that provides free copies of the newspaper on campus and includes curricular and cocurricular programming opportunities such as Coffee with the Times and the Community Conversation discussion series. The American Democracy Project participated in the special inauguration programming for President Betz in April 2012 by hosting a civic engagement conference that featured public presentations by the founder of the American Democracy Project, George Mehaffy, Vice President for Academic Leadership and Change at the American Association for State Colleges and Universities, and Michael Slackman, Deputy Foreign Editor of The New York Times. UCO hosted Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent Anthony Shadid in 2010 and 2011 and Pentagon correspondent Thom Shanker in 2009 for public lectures and small-group discussions with faculty, students and community members.

As director of the American Democracy Project, I have cultivated external partnerships with the National Conference on Citizenship, The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE),, Oklahoma Campus Compact and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. With leadership from President Betz as a founding member of AASCU’s American Democracy Project steering team in 2003, the campus initiative brings together the talent, creativity and expertise of our campus community, drawing members and participation from all five colleges and building partnerships with other units on campus including Student Affairs, Government Relations, Administration and Finance, the UCO Foundation, Enrollment Management, University Relations and Information Technology. For Constitution Day in 2010 and 2012, the American Democracy Project hosted a special naturalization ceremony for over 100 new citizens in Constitution Hall. The program featured judges from the U.S. District Court, Western District of Oklahoma, with a live web stream on the University of Central Oklahoma home page making the ceremony available as a teaching tool to the campus community, local schools, general public and family and friends of the new citizens.

Our civic engagement work has resulted in two significant achievements: first, we received first place in the Oklahoma Campus Compact voter registration contest six years in a row – registering more voters in the campus community than other Oklahoma campuses of our size; and second, our research team published the first-ever Oklahoma Civic Health Index: Strengthening Oklahoma’s Civic Energy (2010) and a second report on civic skills and voter education in 2012.  

The views expressed by UCO faculty and staff on their personal websites and social media pages do not necessarily reflect the positions of the University of Central Oklahoma. UCO faculty and staff are advised to follow the university’s social media guidelines and are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with policies outlined in UCO’s Employee Handbook and/or Faculty Handbook.