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Photo by: Drew Kellis

Photo by: Drew Kellis

Photo by: Drew Kellis

Dr. Scott Kaufman, associate professor of history, reads through a history book. Kaufman has written and co-written nine books.

Anthony Gregg, Copy Editor

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Dr. Scott Kaufman, a Francis Marion University (FMU) Board of Trustees Research Scholar, joined FMU faculty in 2001. Since then, he has become an associate professor of history and co-director of the Robert E. McNair Center for Government and History.

Presently, Kaufman is editing a series of 30 essays on the presidencies of former Presidents Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter In addition, he and Dr. Alyssa Warters, professor of political science will be collaborating their research interests to conduct background research on one of the three books he hopes to get published.

Although Kaufman has delved wholeheartedly into his research and studies, he attributes much of his success to his two role models—his father and also his mentor, Katherine Jellison. Kaufman spoke briefly about his two heroes.

[My father’s] love for history inspired me, and we talk about the subject constantly,” Kaufman said. “The other is Katherine Jellison. She is a professor of women’s and Native American history at Ohio University. I worked for her several times as a teaching assistant. She is an incredible lecturer, and I learned a lot from her about how to present material to a class.”

Kaufman’s primary research interest lies in U.S. diplomatic history. However, he dabbles in presidential studies and in environmental history.

Kaufman said he took advantage of the many opportunities that research and publication provide.

Kaufman has written and co-written nine books, with two of them being published in the past year. The first, “Project Plowshare: The Peaceful Use of Nuclear Explosives in Cold War America,” examines a program that called for using nuclear explosives for non-military uses, such as digging harbors and canals, mining ore, building underground storage facilities or stimulating the production of natural gas.

Cornell University Press published Project Plowshare, which released in November of last year. This month, Scarecrow Press is releasing Historical Dictionary of the Carter Era, a book which Kaufman wrote with his mother, Diane Kaufman. Kaufman says that it offers entries on not just major figures of the Carter administration but other famous individuals—politicians, actors, athletes, and civil and women’s rights activists—as well as economic, military, political, diplomatic and cultural matters.

Susan Altman, senior history major at FMU, deemed Kaufman as one of the most effective professors and role-models she has had.

“He convinces his students that thorough research and strong writing skills are vital,” Altman said. “He does whatever he can to increase academic rigor. He also incorporates his original studies into his lectures, so students can learn a great deal about events that are often overlooked in United States history.”

At FMU, Kaufman teacher U.S. History since 1865, The United States in the Era of World War II, The United States in the Era of the Vietnam War, The History of the United States in World Affairs, U.S. Military History and Historiography.

Kaufman earned his BA in history at Kansas State University and his MA in history from Ohio University. Immediately after completing with his master’s degree, Kaufman stayed at Ohio University to work on his Ph.D., awarded to him in 1998.

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