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Dr. Denise Holladay Damico

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    Position: Associate Professor of History

    Department: History and Political Science

    Office: Scotus 315

    Email Dr. Denise Holladay Damico


    About Dr. Denise Holladay Damico


    • Ph.D., American History, Brandeis University (2008)
    • M.A., American History, Brandeis University (2006)
    • B.A., University of Colorado at Boulder (1999)


    Dr. Damico studies and teaches American history, focusing on environmental history and the history of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands.  Her dissertation studied water conflict in nineteenth-century New Mexico.  Since coming to Saint Francis University in 2009, she has expanded her research to include local issues, such as the ramifications of the famous Johnstown flood of 1889.  She is currently researching and writing a manuscript on the social, cultural, and environmental history of the margarita.  Her publications include "The Cebolleta Land Grant: Multicultural Contention and Cooperation," Natural Resources Journal, Fall 2008, and "Should the Liberal Arts Resist Marketability?" available at .


    Professional experiences

    Saint Francis University, Loretto, PA

    • Associate Professor of History and Environmental Studies, 2015-presen
      Assistant Professor of History, 2010-2015
      Visiting Assistant Professor of History, 2009-2010

    Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA, Visiting Assistant Professor of History, 2008-2009

    Central New Mexico Community College, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Instructor of History, 2006-2008

    Research interests

    History of the United States and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, sustainability and interdisciplinary pedagogy, environmental history, water history, history of production and consumption of the margarita


    “Should the Liberal Arts Resist Marketability?” in response to Dr. William Strosnider, “Community Engagement for the Liberal Arts?” on the Forum for Engaging Values, Education, and Responsibility, produced by the Society for Values in Higher Education, February 2017.

    “The Cebolleta Land Grant: Multicultural Contention and Cooperation.” Natural Resources Journal, Autumn 2008

    Review of David Correia, Properties of Violence: Law and Land Grant Struggle in Northern New Mexico, submitted to New Mexico Historical Review May 2013.

    Review of David H. DeJong, Stealing the Gila: The Pima Agricultural Economy and Water
    Deprivation, 1848-1921
    . H-Water, H-Net Reviews. March, 2012.

    Grants received

    Funded participant in National Endowment of the Humanities Summer Institute, “Rethinking the Land Ethic: Sustainability and the Humanities,” Summer 2011

    Research Fellowship, Office of the State Historian Scholar's Program, Fall 2005

    Brandeis University Crown Fellowship in American History, 2001-2005

    Research Grant, University of Colorado Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, Spring 1999


    Service in the Academic Community

    Member of Editorial Board of Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal (, 2017-present

    Service at Saint Francis University

    Chair, History and Political Science Department, Fall 2017-
    Interim Chair, History and Political Science Department, Fall 2016
    Faculty Senate, Fall 2014-Present
    Faculty Senate Vice President, Academic Year 2015-2016
    Faculty Salary and Benefits Committee, Fall 2014-Summer 2015
    Speaker Policy Ad Hoc Committee, Summer 2015
    “Francis the Builder” Working Group, Middle States Self Study, 2013-Present
    Chair, Committee on Resources, Academic and Library, 2010-2015
    Faculty Athletics Mentor, Women’s Water Polo, 2016-2017
    Co-advisor to History Club, 2009 – present 
    Advisor, Delta Phi Epsilon social sorority, 2012 – 2016

    Service within the wider community

    Member of Cambria County Historical Society Board of Trustees, 2012-Present


    Courses taught.

    • Hist 103: U.S. History to 1877
    • Hist 104: U.S. History, 1877 to the present
    • Hist 202: Gender in U.S. History
    • Hist 210: African American History
    • Hist 259: U.S. Environmental History
    • Hist 336: Selected Topics in Latin American History
    • Hist 405: Disaster!  Environmental and Social Crises in World History
    • History 406: Water Power: Water Control, Race, and Class in U.S. History
    • Hist 410: Toil and Trouble: Witchcraft and Magic in Transatlantic Context
    • Hist 495: Water Power: Water Control, Race, and Class in U.S. History
    • Hist 201: Historian’s Craft
    • Hist 499: History Capstone
    • Core 113: Myth, Film, Race and American History
    • Core 113: Water Wars: Power, Technology, and Violence (co-taught with Dr. William Strosnider, Environmental Engineering)

      • Teaching

      Courses Taught

      • Core 113 Myth, Film, and American History
      • History 103 U.S. History to 1877
      • History 202 Gender in U.S. History
      • History 336 Topics in Latin American History
      • History 410 Water Power: Water Control, Race and Class in U.S. History
      • History 208 Living on the Edge (of Empire): North America, 1600-1800
      • History 406 Water Power: Water, Race, and Class in US History
      • History 408 Witchcraft and Magic in Transatlantic Context
      • History 405 Disaster! Environmental and Social Crises in World History
      • History 201 The Historian’s Craft
      • History 499 History Capstone