Member Spotlight: Willie Tubbs

15 Jan 2024 1:10 PM | Autumn Lorimer Linford (Administrator)

How did you become involved in AJHA? 

Doctors Vanessa Murphree and David R. Davies, AJHA members with whom I worked closely during my graduate studies at The University of Southern Mississippi, encouraged me to submit a paper to the 2014 national convention. My paper was accepted and I attended the convention in St. Paul. I had such an incredible experience at that convention that I became a member. I was awed to meet so many of the scholars whose work I cited in the paper or read in one of my media history courses - William David Sloan, John Coward, Tom Mascaro, Carolyn Kitch, and Mike Sweeney were just a few of the people who stood out - and humbled to learn that they were all amazingly kind people.   

What part of historical research do you enjoy most? 

For me, the most rewarding part of history is helping my students to discover a passion for the field. I am one of those AJHA members who does not teach a history course. However, I find ways to work historical inquiry into my courses and, more importantly, work with the University of West Florida's Office of Undergraduate Research to find young people I can either guide or, in some cases, employ as co-authors. To date, I have produced two peer-reviewed journal articles and a pair of AJHA Convention-accepted conference articles with undergraduate co-authors. 

What scholarly work have you done outside of history? 

I wrote a humble textbook in 2020 that has proven moderately popular with undergraduate students - it's a concise journey through writing for the communication professions - but my pride is the work I've done with the Department of State's International Visitors Leadership Program. Over the last half-decade, I have done presentations and workshops about modern journalism for media professionals and community leaders from such nations as Azerbaijan, Niger, Tajikistan, India, Vietnam, Latvia, and more. In a nod to AJHA, I always include a sizable historical section in these presentations. 

What do you do in academia outside of your AJHA activity? 

Perhaps I am odd, but I love the service element of our profession. I am most proud of my work as UWFs Faculty Athletics Representative - a role which allows me to represent UWF at the NCAA and Gulf South Conference levels, among numerous functions on campus - and my association with our campus Title IX office, but I have been thrilled to be allowed to work in numerous capacities on and off campus. 

What hobbies/interests do you have outside of academia? 

I don't know if parenting counts as a hobby, but my wife and I are raising two great little boys. The older, who is 5, attended an AJHA convention when he was about 90 days old back in 2018. When I am not working as either a faculty member or parent, I have a real passion for working out. Right now, I put in a solid five days per week at my local gym. 

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