Interested in history for most of her life, Margaret Connell Szasz is thrilled to have contributed to the advancement of the field. Her expertise in comparative indigenous history, Native American history, and Celtic & Native American history have made her stand out amongst her peers and have made her an invaluable part of the University of New Mexico and the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Dr. Szasz has served the former as a history professor since 1994 and the latter as a regents professor of history and a research fellow since 2003. She attributes her longevity and ongoing success in these roles to her efforts to really listen to her students, as she believes this is the most important part of teaching.
Prior to these engagements, Dr. Szasz served in positions like chair of the Press Faculty Advisory Committee at the University of New Mexico, seminar fellow of the McNickle Center of the Newberry Library in Chicago, and visiting senior lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Aberdeen. She also held the Snead Wertheim Endowed Lectureship for history and anthropology at the University of New Mexico and taught at the school’s summer abroad program to Aberdeen, Scotland.
To share her knowledge beyond the classroom, Dr. Szasz was very active in her community. She was a Smithsonian Institution Symposium Invited Speaker, where she spoke on “Scots in the American West,” a member of a panel of judges evaluating Native American Public Telecommunications documentary proposals, and a member of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, the American Society of Ethnohistory, the Organization of American Historians, and the Western History Association. Additionally, Dr. Szasz was widely published. She most notably authored “Education and the American Indian: The Road to Self-Determination Since 1928,” “Indian Education in the American Colonies,” “Scottish Highlanders and Native Americans: Indigenous Education in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World,” and “Between Indian and White Worlds: The Cultural Broker.” Other literary endeavors include serving as a member of the editorial board of Montana: The Magazine of Western History, the editorial board of Northern Scotland, and the panel of reviewers for Arizona State University’s Journal of American Indian Education.
In recognition of her hard work and dedication, Dr. Szasz was honored with the William and Marjory Bell Chambers Award for Excellence in History in 2016, the University of New Mexico College of Arts and Sciences Teaching Award in 2013, 2009, and 2008, an honorary life membership from the Western History Association in 2004, and the American Indian History Appreciation Award from the Western History Association in 2000. She also received the Spencer Foundation Grant, the William Shoemaker Endowment in History Grant, and the Research Allocations Committee Grant from the University of New Mexico.