Barbara M. Posadas

Professor, History
1974 – Present

Dr. Barbara M. PosadasDr. Barbara M. Posadas joined NIU’s History Department in 1974 and earned her Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1976. Her colleague, Dr. Nancy Wingfield, observes, “Her contributions span the gamut of innovative teaching and program development, national, and international recognition in research, and remarkable service to both university and professional communities.” From humble beginnings in a small, inner-city apartment in Chicago to becoming a first-generation college graduate, Dr. Posadas has earned accolades throughout her thirty-six years at NIU.

Dr. Posadas expanded the curriculum by developing courses in U.S. Women’s History, the History of Chicago, Immigration and Ethnic History, and Asian American History. Known for exacting standards and high expectations, she is highly regarded by her students. Her contributions as a mentor go beyond the classroom. She founded NIU’s Certificate of Graduate Study in Historical Administration, directed it for seventeen years, and facilitated numerous student internships at museums and historic sites. Also, she has been an active Faculty Associate for the Center for Southeast Asian Studies and the Center for Women’s Studies.

Similarly, the influence of Dr. Posadas’ scholarship is far-reaching. Her book, The Filipino Americans (1999), is the standard in the field. She has also published numerous research articles, book chapters, research reports, encyclopedia articles, and reviews in a wide range of publications. In 2008, she received a Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Asian American Studies. Dr. Posadas has presented her work at more than forty professional conferences and provided international leadership in her discipline through programs such as a May 2010 workshop on “American Ethnicity: Rethinking Old Issues, Asking New Questions” held in Krakow, Poland.

Her national and international reputation among her peers is evidenced in appointments to editorial boards and as referee for numerous scholarly journals and university presses. Further, she has consulted for a number of organizations who have conducted fairness reviews in testing, and served as an evaluator for NEH programs and grant proposals relating to museum exhibits and documentary films.

Her university service has included University Council, the University Council Personnel Committee, and the Presidential Commissions on women and on minorities.

Having been self-supporting in her own pursuit of education, Dr. Posadas remains sensitive to students with financial need. She has chaired graduate scholarship and fellowship committees for several organizations. In her teaching, scholarship, and service, Dr. Posadas has clearly excelled and provided a role model for colleagues as well as students.