Emeritus and Retired Faculty and Staff Association

Lisa Emmerich, PhD


Department of Multicultural and Gender Studies
Department of History


Lisa Emmerich’s extensive scholarship and ardent dedication to mentoring students have benefited countless alums as well as the University and greater Chico community.

During her 27-year career as a member of the Chico State Department of History, Emmerich was coordinator of the Native American Studies program and for more than 10 years served as American Indian Club adviser. One former student, now a professor and faculty senate president at another university, described Emmerich as “my mentor” and said, “Thousands of students I have taught for the past decade, without knowing it, have benefited from Lisa’s teaching and mentorship.” Another student, the new director of tribal relations at Chico State, Rachel McBride-Praetorius, said Emmerich “impacted me, changed my life, and how grateful I am to her” for the teaching and direction she provided.

Emmerich has published 24 scholarly articles and book chapters on Native Americans and is currently co-authoring “People and Nations: A Brief History of Native Americans in the United States and Canada.” She has made a significant impact in the region on how Native American history is taught, both with giving many K–12 presentations and through the North State Social Science History Project. Emmerich has also reviewed grants for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, and organized conferences for Phi Alpha Theta International History Honorary Society and other organizations. 

On campus, Emmerich served as director of the Multicultural and Gender Studies Program and was active on Academic Senate, helping to craft a campus sexual harassment policy and a University policy on repatriation. Her impact on women colleagues, much like the help she provided students, was profound. History professor Kate Transchel said, “Understanding the challenges that I would face as a new female faculty member, Lisa gave much of her time and energy mentoring me and offering unwavering friendship and support.”

Emmerich has won several awards for her commitment to Chico State and the community, including the Outstanding Faculty Service Award, Myles E. Tracy Outstanding Student Organization Advisor Award, and the Butte Intertribal Association Education Administrator Award.

Emmerich earned her bachelor’s degree at Goucher College and master’s degree at the University of Virginia. She received her PhD in American history from the University of Maryland.

Portrait of Lisa Emmerich, PhD