Dr. Hoover and students engage in discussion on historical topics.
Dr. Sandy Hoover, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of History, School of Humanities
David Sanders (Sandy) Hoover was born in Lawton, OK in 1978. He did most of his growing up in western Oklahoma where his family operated a small farm/cattle operation. Dr. Hoover shares that he learned about hard work there before he was old enough to know any better, and is glad that he had that opportunity. It is Hoover’s hope that he will be able to pass this appreciation for hard work on to his children, and his students.
Hoover’s parents divorced when he was fairly young, but stayed in the same part of Oklahoma until he was an eighth grader, when his mother moved to Madill, a small eastern Oklahoma town. Dr. Hoover attended a Methodist church there, and was saved when he was 16 years old. He went to college to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in History at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, a small school thirty minutes from Madill. While at SOSU, Hoover studied history there and moved on to Oklahoma State University to pursue a Master of Arts in History in 2001. In 2003, Hoover moved to Lubbock to study the American West at Texas Tech University and met his wife Jenny in late August of that same year. Dr. Hoover says that he knew he was going to marry her the minute he saw her, but she doesn’t seem to remember their first meeting. Nevertheless, she came around, and by May of the following year they were married. The Hoovers had the first of our three children, Chloee, in January of 2006 and applied for the history position here at ETBU that spring because Jenny was from this area. Hoover felt like his application was a bit of a long shot, as he had not yet finished his dissertation, but Dr. Hopkins took a chance on him. “It seems clear to me that God brought us here and I am glad he did,” says Hoover. Since joining the ETBU community, the Hoovers have since had two more children, Olivia in 2008 and Asa in 2011.
What brought you to ETBU?
I believe God did it, but he used Jenny's family's close proximity to Marshall as bait to get the process started. I love ETBU; the students, the faculty and staff, the pecan trees, the statues, and the vision, and I hope that our students can appreciate it while they are here. I know that sometimes it seems like there are too many rules and homework assignments and not enough food options and easy teachers, but God is working in this place, and we are all blessed to be here.
What makes a student successful in your class?
I try to build my classes so that anyone who is intentional about his or her learning can succeed. I believe that students must be voluntary and active participants in the learning process for true intellectual growth to occur. It is important to remember that student learning and intellectual growth do not always equate to A’s, although often they do, particularly over time. I am so proud of the students who may feel overwhelmed at the beginning of the semester, but persevere and seek out help, from ACE, from librarians, from other students, or from me, and meet the challenges of University-level work head on. I am even more blessed when I see those students, over four years, develop into questioning, thinking, curious life-long learners.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from your students?
How fast time passes. I have learned to be more intentional about appreciating the relationships I have with students because they seem to graduate so quickly.
How do you promote Christian Scholarship in your classroom?
Although we sometimes discuss religious topics historically, I like to think that I promote a Christian worldview, which leads to true Christian scholarship, by taking opportunities to discuss difficult moral, historical issues from an intentionally Christian perspective. Our students are more comfortable critically engaging the mistakes of Christian groups in the past, and once we carefully considered the failures of our forefathers, we can more realistically assess our own shortcomings, or strengths, as we try to see the world as Christ sees it.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from your ETBU colleagues?
After having spent my entire life in secular schools, I have learned from my ETBU colleagues that my primary ministry should be, and is, teaching and the work I do with students at ETBU.
B.A. History - Southeastern Oklahoma State - 2001
M.A. Oklahoma State University - 2003
Ph.D. Texas Tech University - 2008
Areas of Expertise
American West / Native American
Western History Association
West Texas Historical Association
East Texas Historical Association
Oklahoma Historical Society
“Popular Culture in the Classroom: Using Audio and Video Clips to Enhance Student Learning.” The History Teacher, August 2006.
“Searching for Meaning in the ‘Llano Estacado.’” West Texas Historical Association Yearbook, 2005.
Editor: “W.F. Cummins’ Report on the Possible Origins of the Name, Llano Estacado.” West Texas Historical Association Year Book, 2004.