Initially intending to pursue engineering, Ronald C. Naugle, Ph.D., found that the curriculum did not suit his interests or skill set, and instead decided to delve into history education. Commencing his career in 1966 as a history instructor at Nebraska Wesleyan University, he subsequently served the university for a fulfilling 38 years. Ascending the ranks to assistant professor in 1971 and associate professor in 1980, he thereafter earned the title of Huge-Kinne professor of history, a role he held until being granted emeritus status in 2004. During his tenure, Dr. Naugle also served as the Huge-Kinne endowed chairman of history, chairman of the department of history, and director of the Wesleyan Honors Academy. Later on in his career, he also acted as chairman of the graduate program and director of the historical studies graduate program.
Since 2006, Dr. Naugle has continued to serve as the director of the Honors Academy Dual Credit at Nebraska Wesleyan University and has maintained involvement with the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships since 2001. Civically involved as well, he is a past president of the Immanuel Lutheran Church and University Student Center with the University of Kansas and past chair of the property committee of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lutheran Center. He also served as longtime chairman of the Native-American Strategy and Action Team of Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska for
15 years and was the former state coordinator for “National History Day” in Nebraska for 20 years. Furthermore, he coordinated the “We the People” program for high school history and social studies students in Nebraska from 1990 to 2003.
Demonstrating versatility in his profession, Dr. Naugle has also been a prolific author and editor, having contributed to several books regarding the rich history of Nebraska, including “Short History of Nebraska” in 2018, “History of Nebraska” in 2015, and “Nebraska Quilts and Quiltmakers” in 2003. In light of his exceptional undertakings, Dr. Naugle has garnered multiple accolades, including an award for the fourth edition of “History of Nebraska” in 2015 and a Frost Award for “Nebraska Quilts and Quiltmakers” from the Smithsonian Institution in 1993. Named Paul Beck Social Studies Teacher of the Year by the Nebraska State Council for the Social Studies, he was also honored by the Nebraska Humanities Council with a Nebraska Sower Award and by History Nebraska with an Addison E. Sheldon Award.
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