Organizations recognize UHV faculty member with grant, award

Joseph Locke, a University of Houston-Victoria assistant professor of history, recently received a $5,000 grant to further his work creating cost-free educational resources and a $500 award for an article published earlier this year.

Joseph Locke

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board awarded Locke a $5,000 Open Educational Resources Grant to finance his work developing high-quality, cost-free resources for the classroom. In addition, the Western Historical Association gave him the Oscar O. Winther Award for an article published in the Western Historical Quarterly during the summer.

“Joseph Locke has been part of some groundbreaking efforts to improve higher education by offering free and affordable textbook and resource options for students,” said Jeffrey Di Leo, dean of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences. “These awards are exciting endorsements of the quality of his research and also his efforts to help students receive a quality education through open educational resources.”

Jeffery Di Leo

Locke has some experience working with and creating open educational resources. He previously collaborated with Ben Wright, an assistant professor of historical studies at the University of Texas at Dallas, to develop “The American Yawp,” a free and open online U.S. history textbook. The book includes contributions from about 300 scholars, and Stanford University Press will publish a printed edition in December for $24.95. 

The purpose of the Open Educational Resources Grant Program is to encourage the design or re-design of survey courses from the ground up using only open educational resources, which are cost-free and are able to be shared or modified by different users. Locke plans to use the funds to plan and develop a U.S. history course that uses only open educational resources.

“The grant seemed like the perfect opportunity to continue developing high-quality, cost-free resources for the classroom,” Locke said. “It’s great to see the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board making a financial and organizational commitment to reducing college costs through the development and dissemination of open resources.”

Locke also received the Western Historical Association’s Oscar O. Winther Award for his article “The Heathen at Our Door: Missionaries, Moral Reformers, and the Making of the ‘Mexican Problem’” that was published in the Western Historical Quarterly’s summer edition. The journal’s board of editors meet every year to choose the award winner from all the published articles during the academic year. The award includes $500.

The article explored the role of religion in shaping Anglo-Mexican relations at the turn of the 20th century. Locke looked at Protestant missionaries and moral reformers who worked on the U.S.-Mexico border at the turn of the 20th century and analyzed how their work shaped Anglo-Mexican relations and American immigration policy.

“The Western Historical Quarterly publishes fantastic scholarship, and it’s great to be recognized,” Locke said. “I grew up on the border and have always been fascinated by it. With immigration and border policy dominating headlines, this topic seems all the more compelling.”

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.