Honoring our alumni are not the only awards bestowed each Homecoming. It's also a time to honor our distinguished faculty by recognizing one faculty member each year with the Faculty Merit Award .

As part of our Alumni Merit Awards recap, this month we take a look at professor, historian Dr. Steven Hoffman.

Dr. Steven Hoffman, a native of Forked River, NJ, teaches history in Southeast’s Department of History and Anthropology. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in history and a Master of Heritage Preservation from Georgia State University, and a Ph.D. in History from Carnegie Mellon University. He joined the faculty of the department of History and Anthropology at Southeast in 1995, and was subsequently promoted to associate and full professor.


As the Coordinator of the Historic Preservation Program since 2003, Hoffman oversees the curriculum, collaborates with other faculty in the program, recruits students and advises them in the undergraduate and graduate Historic Preservation degrees, mentors students during their degree programs and early careers, and collaborates with the Historic Preservation Alumni Association, which he helped found.
A hallmark of Hoffman’s work as a teacher, advisor and mentor is his commitment to the engagement of his students in preservation experiences inside the classroom and out. His courses include projects such as historic surveys and building analyses, field trips, and interactions with working professionals in Historic Preservation and the Main Street Program.

According to many of his students, Hoffman’s Field School course in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, is a highlight of their experience. This course results from Hoffman’s collaboration with local preservation specialists, the Missouri State Parks and the National Park Service. Students learn historic site management at local, state and federal levels. They also experience hands-on
skills used in the preservation of historic buildings, such as hand hewing a log, doing measured drawings and maintaining a vertical log structure.

Hoffman has engaged in several curricular efforts to expand the offerings of his discipline by developing the Master of Arts in public history degree as well as the 4 + 1 BA/MA program in Historic Preservation/Public History. He added courses relating to the built environment, urban design, and African American history. Hoffman has served on and chaired key department, college and University committees.

His work as an educator was recognized by his receipt of the PRIDE award in 2015, the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education in 2016, the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce’s University Educator of the Year in 2011, the College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Teaching Award in 2010, as well as the Civic and Global Engagement Awards in 2009 and 2021.

Recently, Hoffman was honored by Old Town Cape with an endowed scholarship in his name. He has been involved with the Old Town Cape, LLC. Main Street program since its inception in 1999, serving as President, Vice President, Treasurer, Committee Chair, and Board Member of the organization, and currently as advisor to the executive committee. His scholarship centers on Southern urban history and historic preservation. He has published several books and articles, and has helped place many area properties on the National Register of Historic Places, such as the Court of Common Pleas, the Southeast Missourian building, St. James AME Church, and the Broadway Theater. 

He and his wife, Margaret Waterman, are the parents of Russell, an attorney.