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Brenda Taylor Matthews

Headshot of Brenda Taylor Matthews, History faculty

Brenda Taylor Matthews

Professor of Modern American History, A.M. Pate Chair
Polytechnic United Methodist Church 241

In Her Own Words

‌Texas Wesleyan is a lot like the school I went to for my undergraduate degree. I like the small classes where there is time to give students personalized attention and there is an emphasis on teaching. I like the students here; they don’t always have the advantages that students going to elite universities have so it reminds me of myself as an undergraduate.

Connecting with the students is important because it gives them additional motivation to work hard. They know they are going to be held accountable if their professors know who they are—they can’t disappear in a 200-student filled lecture hall.

Dr. Matthews, part of the Texas Wesleyan family since 1995, teaches all kinds of history courses with her specialty being the New South (post Civil War). Her recent projects include chapters in a History of Ft. Worth Women book and the Grace & Gumption cookbook, as well as research on a Works Progress Administration travel guide.

She feels it important that students in her class look at primary sources of historical events. "In my classroom, we use historical context and interpret those. Students need to realize there are various interpretations of historical events.

Dr. Matthews' hobbies include reading mysteries, cooking, sewing crafts and the outdoors. She is married to John Matthews, Ph.D. History, Texas Christian University, and they enjoy reading and visiting historical sites. They have a dog named Yeller.

Education

  • Ph.D. History, Texas Christian University 
  • Master’s History, Texas Christian University
  • B.S. Secondary Education, Dallas Baptist University

Research Interests

Dr. Matthew's primary area of research deals with the Works Progress Administration (WPA) of the New Deal era.

Recently, with Dr. Elizabeth Alexander, Dr. Matthews completed a history of Texas Wesleyan in honor of the University’s 125th anniversary. This coffee-table style book chronicling the colorful history of Texas Wesleyan will be available by Christmas 2015.

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