Wayne State College

Dr. Don Hickey Receives Teaching Excellence Award

Published Thursday, May 21st, 2020

Don Hickey
Dr. Don Hickey

Dr. Donald R. Hickey, professor of history, has been named the State Nebraska Bank & Trust Teaching Excellence Award winner for the 2019-20 academic year.

Dr. Donald R. Hickey, professor of history, has been named the State Nebraska Bank & Trust Teaching Excellence Award winner for the 2019-20 academic year. This prestigious honor recognizes rigorous standards that require a superior level of effective teaching. Hickey, who was called the “Dean of 1812 scholarship” by The New Yorker in 2012, began as an assistant professor at Wayne State in 1978.

David Ley, the State Nebraska’s chairman of the board, established the teaching award in 1998 as a way of recognizing and strengthening outstanding teaching at Wayne State College. State Nebraska Bank & Trust has been serving the Wayne community for more than 125 years and supports the college in many ways, including numerous scholarships, capital investments, employment of students, and service on the Wayne State Foundation Board of Trustees.

During his 42 years at Wayne State, Hickey has also held concurrent positions as a visiting lecturer at the University of Illinois in 1981; John F. Morrison Professor of Military History, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., 1991-92; co-director and professor, Nebraska Semester Abroad Program, 1994; Visiting Professor of Strategy, U.S. Naval War College, Newport, R.I., 1995-96; and Mark W. Clark Professor of History, The Citadel, Charleston, S.C., 2013.

Hickey has written a dozen books and more than 100 articles, mostly on the War of 1812 and its causes. These have appeared in scholarly journals (including Journal of American History, William and Mary Quarterly, Journal of the Early Republic, and Journal of Military History) as well as popular journals and encyclopedias.

“My first book, The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict, has been in print since 1989 and is now in its second edition,” Hickey said. “I won two national awards for this book, and I believe it has become the standard account of the war from the American perspective. I have another book, Don’t Give Up the Ship! Myths of the War of 1812, that is devoted to exploring (and exploding) many widely held myths associated with the conflict. My latest book, a foray into Native American history, is entitled Tecumseh’s War: The Epic Conflict for the Heart of America. It is scheduled for publication in the fall of 2020.”

Hickey has served on various editorial boards and referee for numerous presses and scholarly journals; consulted on several film projects, including PBS's "War of 1812" (2011); and served as consultant on the Bicentennial commemoration of War of 1812 for National Park Service, National Portrait Gallery, U.S. Postal Service, National Geographical Society, and USS Constitution Museum.

Hickey noted in his personal statement for the award that “since coming to Wayne State in 1978, I’ve taught and mentored thousands of students. My regular rotation consists of regular and honors U.S. history surveys, a senior research seminar, and a specialized course, usually in early national America (1789-1815). Each of these courses is presented in a way to expose students to different aspects of the study of history.”