Historic Preservation Experiential Learning Endowed Scholarship Established at Southeast


The Historic Preservation Experiential Learning Endowed Scholarship has been established through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.

Dr. Debra A. Reid of Dearborn, Michigan, made a $10,000 gift to establish the award.

The renewable scholarship will be awarded to a Southeast undergraduate student majoring in historic preservation or a graduate student majoring in public history with an emphasis in historic preservation. Recipients need to have completed or be currently enrolled in experiential learning opportunities including, but not limited to, internships, applied projects or field school. Recipients must have a minimum 3.25 grade point average in their major courses. The Department of History and Anthropology Scholarship Committee in collaboration with the Historic Preservation Program coordinator will select the recipient.

Reid is curator of Agriculture and the Environment at The Henry Ford Museum. She was a 1982 graduate of Southeast with a Bachelor of Science in historic preservation, and accepted her diploma as a proud member of the program’s first graduating class.

Southeast’s historic preservation program emphasized experiential learning, and those opportunities, including a summer spent dismantling a log house and a summer as a fellow at Historic Deerfield in Massachusetts, changed Reid’s life. She earned a Master of Arts from the Cooperstown Graduate Program in history museum studies in 1987, a Master of Arts in history from Baylor University in 1996 and a doctorate in history from Texas A&M University in 2000.

She is a professor emeritus from Eastern Illinois University’s Department of History, where she taught from 1999 through 2016. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences where she teaches “History of Agriculture in Illinois.”

Reid’s books include the award-winning “Reaping a Greater Harvest: African Americans and the Agricultural Extension Service in Jim Crow Texas” (2007) and “Interpreting Agriculture at Museums and Historic Sites” (2017). She co-edited “Beyond Forty-Acres and a Mule: African American Landowners since Reconstruction” (2012), and co-authored “Interpreting the Environment at Museums and Historic Sites,” forthcoming from Rowman & Littlefield.

She is president-elect of the Agricultural History Society and a fellow of that Society since 2015. She is a past president of the Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums, and serves as treasurer of the Midwest Open Air Museum’s Coordinating Council.