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About 'Me,': Kevin T. Mason, PhD

Updated: Oct 13, 2023


Hello! I'm Kevin Mason, creator of Notes on Iowa.


I am a professional historian who studies the American Midwest. I teach at Waldorf University in Forest City, Iowa, where I serve as an Associate Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History, Geography, and Political Science. Since arriving at Waldorf University in 2013, I have primarily studied the history of Iowa while teaching a diverse slate of courses.


I grew up in Iowa, in Forest City (Winnebago County), Mason City (Cerro Gordo County), and eventually Pella (Marion County). I returned to North Iowa to attend North Iowa Area Community College. I finished my undergrad at the University of Mary in Bismarck North Dakota. I obtained my Master of Arts in History from Wayland Baptist University in Plainview Texas, before I attended Iowa State University to pursue a PhD in Rural & Environmental History. In 2020, I successfully defended my dissertation focused on Inkpaduta, Abbie Gardner Sharp, and an event commonly known as 'The Spirit Lake Massacre (https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/etd/17929/ ) to complete my PhD in Rural and Environmental History under the direction of Distinguished Professor of History Dr. Pamela Riney-Kehrberg.


The history of the American Midwest, and Iowa specifically, constitute my primary research focus. You can read more about why I have chosen to undertake the 'Notes on Iowa' project under the 'About: Notes on Iowa' section.


Aside from 'Notes on Iowa' and teaching, I also seek to serve my community in a variety of ways. I currently serve on the Board of Trustees for the State Historical Society of Iowa. In the past I've served on the Board of Directors for Wright on the Park, the non-profit group that owns and maintains the only remaining Frank Lloyd Wright designed hotel: Mason City's Historic Park Inn. I also served on the Board of Directors for the Winnebago Historical Society, an organization that operates the Mansion Museum of Forest City, Heritage Park of North Iowa, and the Leibrand-Whiteis Research Center. The Preservation Iowa Board of Directors provided me with an opportunity to serve at the state-level, and I worked on the organization's 'Most Endangered Buildings' program, the 'Iowa Preservation At It's Best' Awards, and in other capacities. I also served as the Program Director for the National History Day in Iowa Prairie School District Contest hosted at Waldorf University. Nationally, I serve as the Tresurer for the Society of Historians for the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.


I currently reside in Mason City, Iowa, with my wife Marissa.


I try to stay active creating, and a few of my recent publications include:


Mason, Kevin. "Beyond the Corn: Iowa State Parks & Iowa's Environmental Change." Little Village. June 23, 2023. Iowa City, Iowa. https://littlevillagemag.com/iowa-state-parks-altered-landscape/


Mason, Kevin. "Surveying the Ongoing History Crisis: Quantitative and Qualitative Evidence from Across the Midwest." Middle West Review, Vol. 9, No. 2, Spring 2023. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press. https://muse.jhu.edu/article/882940


Mason, Kevin. "Seeing Iowa Slowly: 371 Miles on Foot from Montrose to Spirit Lake in Search of the Iowa Dragoons." Lake Life Okoboji. Fall 2021. Spirit Lake, IA. https://lakelifeokoboji.com/2021/09/03/seeing-iowa-slowly/


Mason, Kevin. “Inkpaduta in Iowa: Dakota Decline, Dispossession, and Erasure .” Annals of Iowa, Vol. 80, Issue 1. April 2021. Des Moines, IA: State Historical Society of Iowa. (winner of the 2022 State Historical Society of Iowa Mildred Throne - Charles Aldrich Award for Academic History) https://pubs.lib.uiowa.edu/annals-of-iowa/article/id/31408/


Mason, Kevin. “Choose Your Own Adventure: Creating Assignment Autonomy with Self-Determination Theory in the US History Survey.” Teaching United States History. May 2020. http://www.teachingushistory.co/


Mason, Kevin. "Winnebago and the Flying W(in): How to Build an Iconic Company and Save Rural America." 360 Review: Energy, Agriculture, Finance, Culture & Faith on the Northern Great Plains, Vol. 1, Issue 2 (Summer/Fall 2016). Bismarck, ND: University of Mary, 60-69.


Specific Academic Information:


Ph.D. in Rural and Environmental History (2020) – Iowa State University (Ames, Iowa)

M.A. in Organizational Leadership (2016) – Waldorf University (Forest City, Iowa) M.A. in History (2013)– Wayland Baptist University (Plainview, Texas) B.S. in Social and Behavioral Sciences (2011) – University of Mary (Bismarck, North Dakota) A.A. (2009)– North Iowa Area Community College (Mason City, Iowa)

High School - Pella Community High School (Pella, Iowa)



1 comentário


I'm working with Hawkeye Heritage of IGS on my family story involving dragoons, first 400 European settlers in what became Des Moines, brick makers, explosion at Christy Coal Mine in 1898 and family stories. I plan to work with them again on other side of family. Fredregill for the brick makers and Ballard for self-taught doctor and agriculture in Story County. Just saw you have done work on coal in SE Iowa and mention United States Dragoons. Interesting Iowa. Patricia Rose Ballard Coffie.

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