Dr. Bixel comes to Husson University after fourteen years at Maine Maritime Academy where she served, at various times, as Associate Academic Dean, Chair of the Arts and Sciences Department, and professor of history. A graduate of Rice University in Houston, Texas, with majors in history, philosophy and political science, she completed a Master’s Degree in History at Duke University, and a Ph.D. in History at Rice. She has written or co-written three books—Sailing Ship Elissa (1998, 2011); Galveston and the 1900 Storm: Catastrophe and Catalyst (2000); and Seeing the New South: Race and Place in the Photographs of Ulrich Bonnell Phillips (2012) as well as numerous articles and book reviews. In addition to her academic career, she also worked as an assistant editor for the Journal of Southern History and served as executive director of the 1877 Barque Elissa project, a tall ship and maritime museum in Galveston, Texas. Since moving to Maine, Dr. Bixel has been a member of several museum boards and is currently Vice-chairman of the Maine Humanities Council.
Higher education is transformative. Through exposure to a broad range of disciplines, viewpoints, and ideas as well as classroom and professional experiences, Husson University students prepare themselves to lead productive lives in their chosen careers. Over the course of their lifetimes, our students will have many jobs—and perhaps several careers—in areas we cannot yet imagine. But people are more than their work. Beyond job skills, a college education provides students with tools they need to be outstanding citizens, parents, mentors, and human beings. Students’ understanding of the human experience, their capacity to think critically, to communicate, to act ethically, and to adapt to a rapidly changing world—proficiencies at the heart of science and humanities—gives them a foundation for remarkable lives of achievement and service.