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 Kirstin L. Lawson, Ph.D.

Kirstin L. Lawson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of History / History Program Coordinator
Department of History, Philosophy, and Social Sciences
Office: 406E Russ Hall
Phone: 620-235-4319

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About Dr. Kirstin Lawson

Coordinator, History Program

Dr. Lawson joined the History faculty at PSU in 2009 and earned tenure in 2014.

She teaches courses in U.S. History, Women’s History, and research methods to undergraduate and graduate students.  Her work with undergraduate students led to her recognition with the University’s “Outstanding Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor Award” in 2014.  At the M.A. level, she directs her students in researching social and cultural American history as well as 19th century science and medicine.  She is the History program coordinator and has served as a member of various University committees, including the Faculty Senate and the Women’s Studies and Academic Affairs committees.

Her current research projects include:  

Mining for Health in the Tri-State Lead and Zinc District: Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri, 1920-1959, a social and cultural history that reveals the development of community ideas of health and healthcare

World War II in Letters:  Dale and Katie Conner, a joint project with Dr. John L.S. Daley (PSU - History).  These World War II letters between two PSU alumni will form the basis of an edited reader appropriate for US History general education classes as well as for a general interest audience.

Mission Clay, a joint project with Prof. Rhona Shand (PSU - Art), uses photography to explore the experience and meaning of the closing of a local industry.


Ph.D., University of Missouri, Missouri, U.S.A., April 2008.  Dissertation: Healing the Frontier:  Catholic Sisters, Hospitals, and Medicine Men in the Wisconsin Big Woods, 1880-1920

M.A., History, University of Missouri,Missouri, U.S.A., June 2001.  Thesis: Unmasking the Flirt:  Epidemic Influenza in Columbia, Missouri, 1918

B.A., History, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S.A., June 1999, Highest Honors. 
Texas Teacher Certificate (Lifetime Certification, issued May, 1999): Secondary History and Social Studies. Composite (Grades 6-12), Secondary English and English Language Arts (Grades 6-12)

Courses Taught

HIST 201:  American History to 1865
HIST 202:  American History from 1865
HIST 430:  History Theory and Practice
HIST 608:  Women in American History
HIST 620:  History of the South
HIST 636:  Native American History
HIST 660:  Industrial America, 1865-1914
HIST 655:  Early American Republic
HIST 813:  19th Century Social History
HIST 813:  History of American Medicine, 1783-1983

Visit the History Program at Pittsburg State University >>


  • Phi Alpha Theta (History honor society)

Publications and Presentations


  • “The Birth of a Clinic:  Picher, Oklahoma, the Bureau of Mines, and Healthcare as Social Control.”  Phi Alpha Theta Biennial Convention, January 2012.
  • “The School Sisters of St. Francis and the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe:  Missions of Culture, Education, and Health.”  Rural Women’s Studies Association, September 2009.
  • “Gilded Age Healthcare and the ‘Good’ Doctor:  Joseph P. Cox and Northern Wisconsin.”  Mid-America Conference on History, September 2008.
  • “Healthcare as a Citizen’s Right:  Public Health at the Hayward Indian School, Wisconsin, 1901-1920.”  Midwest Junto for the History of Science, April 2008.
  • "Sacred Teas, a Sisters’ School, and an Indian Priest:  Modern Medicine and Holistic Healthcare on the Lac Court Oreilles Ojibwa Reservation, 1885-1920." Midwest Junto for the History of Science, April 2007.