Nickell to Receive 2009 Pride Award

Photo of Dr. Frank Nickell

Dr. Frank Nickell, associate professor of history at Southeast Missouri State University, will be honored during commencement exercises as the recipient of the 2009 PRIDE Award.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Dec. 7, 2009 – Dr. Frank Nickell, associate professor of history at Southeast Missouri State University and director of the Center for Regional History, is the recipient of the 2009 PRIDE Award.

Nickell will be honored during commencement exercises at 2 p.m. Dec. 19 in the Show Me Center. 

The Provost’s Research, Instruction and Development for Excellence (PRIDE) Award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated excellence as a teacher, an extraordinary level of scholarship and service, and whose overall accomplishments are especially noteworthy.  Nickell was selected for the award by the Council of Deans after nominations were solicited from each of the University’s colleges and schools.  The recipient of this award is honored for exemplifying the teacher/scholar model.  This is the 14th year Southeast has presented the PRIDE Award.

Nickell began teaching at Southeast in 1969 after teaching at the elementary and high school levels for nine years in New Mexico.  He briefly taught at Cape Central High School during the 1971-1972 school year.  He returned to Southeast in 1973 as the bursar and coordinator of Special Projects before going back to the classroom in 1976.  He served as chairman of the Department of History from 1978 to 1983.

In 1990, he became the director of the Center for Regional History.  He has edited and written many books, including The Murals of Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau:  An Illustrated History and The House on Riddle Hill.  He is editor for three manuscripts nearing publication, and is editing 10 other manuscripts in progress.  He co-founded the journal, Big Muddy:  A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley, and his weekly public radio program “Almost Yesterday” on KRCU and KSEF Radio won the 2008 Missouri Broadcasters Association’s “Award of Excellence.”

“He has not only demonstrated excellence in the classroom but also has been a prolific scholar, an active member of the community and has become a major contributor to the study of local and regional history through his directorship of the Center for Regional History,” Dr. Frank Barrios, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, said of Nickell. 

Nickell has also help secure several education grants, including four “Teaching American History” grants from the U.S. Department of Education which brought in nearly $4 million to support regional school districts and the “Old Lorimier Cemetery” grant from the History Channel.  He is also currently working on an oral history project chronicling the Eighth Judicial District, Federal Court System.

“Dr. Nickell has consistently received praises for his teaching, with evaluations marking him as one of the most appreciated by students,” said Dr. Wayne Bowen, professor and chair of the Department of History.  “In addition to undergraduate teaching, he directed 12 masters’ theses, taught five independent studies, led an Advanced Placement (AP) workshop in American History, and has served as a reader for AP American History every year since 1979.”

Nickell is also the University coordinator for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship and conducts an annual day-long bus tour for new Southeast faculty in the Teaching Enhancement Workshop, Bowen added. 

“He is well-regarded by his colleagues and respected as an authority in his area of study,” Barrios said.  “He has served or currently serves on numerous state boards, further enhancing his reputation and the visibility of his department and of the University as a whole.”

Nickell has been the state director, district director and member of the national coordinating committee of History Day.  He is currently the chair of the Missouri Mississippi River Parkway Commission, a member of Missouri Board on Geographic Names and on the Board of Directors of the National Stars and Stripes Museum and Library in Bloomfield, Mo.  He is the leader of the “Great Decisions” community discussion series, and he is a state scholar of four exhibits in the Missouri Humanities Council of Smithsonian Exhibits. 

In 2005, the Missouri House of Representatives presented him with the honorable award of “Outstanding Missourian.”

“He has been a major contributor to the preservation and expansion of historical knowledge.  He merits every consideration for [the PRIDE Award],” said Bowen.

Nickell received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Eastern Illinois University and his doctoral degree from the University of New Mexico.