Cameron University presents free seminar examining economic development in southwest Oklahoma

Cameron University's Department of History and Government and the Center for Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurial Studies (CETES) will present "Acting Regionally and Responsibly: Connecting the Cultural, Historical, and Economic Dots in Oklahoma." The event will provide students and community leaders in local and tribal governments across southwest Oklahoma with a deeper understanding of the linkages among cultural and historical characteristics and economic development strategies. This edition of the CU Political Science Forum takes place from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Friday, March 5 at the CETES Conference Center. Registration is free. To register, call 581-2496.

State, regional and local experts will address the resources available to foster economic growth and prosperity in southwest Oklahoma by focusing on the following questions:

  • What defines Oklahoma culturally and historically?
  • What are the economic dimensions of Oklahoma?
  • What are the linkages among the cultural, historical, and economic development of Oklahoma?

An examination of the cultural and historical characteristics of Oklahoma will lead to an exploration of economic development strategies that incorporate existing resources, creativity and innovation.

Panelists and their topics are:

  • Dr. Joe Watkins, "10,000 Years and Counting: An Overview of Native American Pre-contact History and Culture in Southwest Oklahoma"
  • Dr. Lance Janda, "A Meeting of the Twain: Economic Development and the Military History of Southwest Oklahoma, 1869-2009"
  • John Rhea , "Beyond Dust, Wind and Drought: Old Greer County and the Development of Southwest Oklahoma"
  • Dr. Cynthia Rogers, "Local Option Sales Taxation: Overview and implications for Southwest Oklahoma"

This event is made possible by a grant from the Oklahoma Humanities Council. For more information, contact Dr. Tony Wohlers at 581-2496 or at

About the Panelists

Dr. Joe Watkins is the Director of the Native American Studies program and Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma. He earned his BA from the University of Oklahoma and his MA and PhD from Southern Methodist University in Dallas in Anthropology, and uses that training as background to his work as a cultural and intellectual liaison between Indigenous groups and the Western academic worlds. He has published extensively on his research interests - the ethical practice of anthropology and anthropology's relationships with descendant communities and aboriginal populations - and continues to maintain involvement in Indigenous issues globally.

Lance Janda is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of History and Government at Cameron University. His published works include "Stronger Than Custom: West Point and the Admission of Women," chapters on the Flying Tigers and the United States Marine Corps for "Personal Perspectives: World War II," and "Shutting the Gates of Mercy: The American Origins of Total War, 1860-1880." The latter appeared in The Journal of Military History and was reprinted in Readings in American Military History and The International Library of Essays on Military History.

John Rhea is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at the University of Oklahoma who teaches Western and World Civilization. Rhea's current dissertation, "A Century of Discontent:  Women, Native Americans, and the History Profession, 1879-1979," will analyze the roles of post Civil War science, cultural shifts, gender politics, academic professionalism, and personal agency in shaping women's unique role in Native American historical scholarship. In addition to working on regional history projects with the Museum of the Western Prairie for the last decade, Rhea has also authored several articles on southwest Oklahoma history and contributed to larger works on state and U.S. history.

Dr. Cynthia L. Rogers is Associate Professor of Economics and Economics Graduate Program Director at the University of Oklahoma. She was previously on the faculty of the Regional Research Institute at West Virginia University, where she was program coordinator and research mentor for the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates in Regional Science and an Assistant Editor of the International Regional Science Review. She is a past president of the Southern Regional Science Association and currently serves on the editorial board of its journal. She has performed sponsored research for the Oklahoma Office of State Finance, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Tennessee Valley Authority, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Appalachian Regional Commission. 



February 18, 2010