Robert McWilliams MA

Associate Professor, history

Bob McWilliams teaches the United States history survey courses.  He graduated from the University of Kansas in 1977 with majors in history and economics, winning the Summerfield award in economics and honors in history, with a senior paper in legal history, supervised by Prof. Philip Paludan.  He then graduated from Harvard Law School in 1980, and then served as a law clerk for United States District Judge Frank Theis from 1980 to 1983 and was in private legal practice from 1983 to 1984 with Payne and Jones in Olathe, Kansas.  He obtained a M.A. in history in 1987 from the University of Kansas, and his Master's Thesis, Billard's Battle over the Bible: Religion and the Public Schools in Turn of the Century Topeka, Kansas, was given the Greaves/Thalid Award for outstanding thesis in history at the University of Kansas. In 1990, he was one of five Graduated Teaching Assistants chosen as the first G.T.A.s to be given an award for outstanding classroom teaching at the University of Kansas.

In addition to teaching at the University of Kansas,  Bob also was a visiting Professor at Benedictine College, teaching both survey courses and a course in African-American History. He has taught as an adjunct at Johnson County Community College since 1989.  He has worked at Kansas Public Radio since 1983, hosting and producing a wide range of music programs, and has been Jazz and Folk Director at Kansas Public Radio since 1996. He also founded the West Side Folk concert series in Lawrence in 1995 and has been the musical director for that series ever since. He was given a Phoenix Award for Exceptional Artistic Achievement by the Lawrence Arts Commission in 2206 and in 2014, he was presented the Spirit of Folk Award by Folk Alliance International.