Dr. Steven Haynes, Assistant Professor of History at Dodge City Community College (DCCC), came across the topic for a recent dissertation unexpectedly.
“I ran across this obscure document in the library about Cuba and I thought it would be good for this paper I was working on, so that's how I came across the topic,” Haynes said.
Dr. Steven Haynes, Assistant Professor of History at Dodge City Community College (DCCC), came across the topic for a recent dissertation unexpectedly. “I ran across this obscure document in the library about Cuba and I thought it would be good for this paper I was working on, so that's how I came across the topic,” Haynes said. Despite the paper's unexpected origins, it caught the attention of the Ohio Academy of History, who named the paper a finalist for dissertation of the year in November. Haynes is among just three finalists for the award, which is given to those who have received their Ph.D. in the state of Ohio. Titled “The Alternative Vision: The U.S., Latin America and the League of Nations,” the paper details how the League of Nations affected U.S.-Latin American relations, particularly from 1921 to 1933. In order to be considered for nomination, the professor has to be nominated by their department. They also need a letter of recommendation from their advisor. The winner will be announced after the new year. According to University of Cincinnati professor and chairman of the committee for the award John Douglass, factors considered for the award include quality of scholarship, quality of research and the time at which the scholarship may be ready for publication. The award has been given since the organization's inception in 1934. This is Haynes' third year teaching at DCCC. He earned his B.A. in History from Fort Hays State University. Later he earned his M.A. in History from Wichita State University and his Ph.D. from Kent State University in Ohio. His focus was 20th century U.S. diplomacy and although he teaches a range of historical topics, he says his favorite is still U.S. history. As for the nomination, Haynes said he felt glad to be recognized for a project he spent five years developing. “It was unexpected,” he said. “But it's nice to know that the work is being recognized.” Haynes is currently working on getting the research published as a book. He also has other research he has been working on for a long time, including a diplomatic dispute over Easter Island between the U.S. and Japan in 1923. “When you're researching for a dissertation it's interesting what you can turn up,” Haynes said. Haynes said he realized his calling to be a professor in graduate school, when he was working as a supplemental instructor and found that the students responded positively to his methods. “I love teaching,” he said. “That's one of the main reasons I came to a community college. It's always exciting to find new stuff out but… the real focus is on the students and it's what I like doing. It's a good fit for me here.”