History and Social Sciences Department

When today’s employers are asked to name the most important skills they look for in candidates, critical thinking and effective decision making rise to the top of the list. Programs offered in the History and Social Sciences Department are designed to sharpen those skills in you.

By studying the past, you will learn to understand the present and, therefore, plan for the future. Through an exploration of various elements of society, you will develop a deeper understanding of the world in which you live. And by learning more about political systems and political behavior, your understanding of the impact politics has on the world around you will grow.

Whether you plan on future graduate studies, want to serve your community as a police officer or human services coordinator, or aspire to a career in politics, the department’s programs can enhance your potential and hone your abilities.

International Semester

If you major in history, you are strongly encouraged to study abroad for a semester, preferably during spring semester of your sophomore year or fall semester of your junior year. Consult with your academic adviser for more information.

Academic Honors

Departmental distinction is granted to graduating seniors who have earned a department GPA of 3.7 or higher, a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher, and at least an AB in H470 Senior Thesis. Departmental distinction is reserved for students majoring in history, history/social studies, or social studies education who perform academically at the top level of all graduates from the department.

The Brother J. Robert Lane Historical Essay Prize is awarded to students for excellence in historical research and writing whenever applicable. Department book prizes are awarded each semester to outstanding students in each history class.


Susan Cosby Ronnenberg, Ph.D.

Dean of the College

Saint Mary's Hall, SM133B

Campus Box: # 20

(507) 457-6900


Tycho de Boer, Ph.D.

Department Chair, History and Social Sciences - Associate Professor

Saint Mary's Hall, SM235

Campus Box: #1419

(507) 457-6995


Tycho de Boer Ph.D.
Valerie Edwards Robeson, M.S.S.W.

History and Social Sciences - Associate Professor, Human Services Coordinator

Griffin Hall, GR193

Campus Box: #1457

(507) 457-1665


Valerie Edwards Robeson M.S.S.W.
Tricia Klosky, Ph.D.

Criminal Justice Coordinator, History and Social Sciences - Associate Professor

Griffin Hall, GR184

Campus Box: #1513

(507) 457-6677


Areas of Expertise: Juvenile corrections, criminal justice, delinquency

Meet Tricia Klosky
Erich Lippman, Ph.D.

History and Social Sciences - Associate Professor

Saint Mary's Hall, SM237

Campus Box: #1505

(507) 457-6944


Areas of Expertise: Russian Intellectual history with a focus on the interactions between religion and modernity in revolutionary Russia

Meet Erich Lippman
David Lynch, Ph.D.

History and Social Sciences - Professor, Political Science Coordinator

Griffin Hall, GR195

Campus Box: #1430

(507) 457-1526


Areas of Expertise: International relations and political economies, particularly trade, globalization and regional trade agreements

Meet David Lynch
Young Sun Park, Ph.D.

History and Social Sciences - Assistant Professor

Saint Mary's Hall, SM227

Campus Box: #1414

(507) 457-1785


Young Sun Park Ph.D.