Chris Magoc leads the history department

Contributed photo: Chris Magoc, Ph. D., is the chair of the history department at Mercyhurst University.Contributed photo: Chris Magoc, Ph. D., is the chair of the history department at Mercyhurst University.

The faculty and staff are what shape the campus and the Mercyhurst experience to be what it is. Within each department, there is talent, experience, expertise, excitement and motivation brought to the table.

Chris Magoc, Ph. D., Mercyhurst’s history department chair, is full of life and excitement, both in the classroom and around the Erie community.

Having obtained his master’s at Pennsylvania State University in Harrisburg and his doctorate at the University of New Mexico, Magoc is a seasoned traveler and student.

He taught his first course at the University of New Mexico in 1991 before he moved to Erie and became a Mercyhurst faculty member in 1999. Since that time, Magoc has instilled his sense of eagerness to learn about our country’s history in Mercyhurst students and made quite a name for himself on campus, throughout the community, and in the history literature world.

As the history department chair, Magoc is responsible for budgeting, scheduling, recruitment of new professors for the department and producing a newsletter.
These duties are only the beginning of his involvement on campus.

Besides having chair responsibilities, he never loses sight of his first love: teaching. He teaches America Since 1945, U.S. Environmental History, America in the Nuclear Age and many courses in the public history program.

Whether or not his students are history majors, Magoc quickly draws the classroom in with his sheer love of the country’s history.

“The most satisfying moments come when students teach me something I did not know,” Magoc said.

His dedication to teaching Mercyhurst students and learning from them earned him the Teaching Excellence Award in 2012.

This award is given annually to a professor who dedicates his or her self to learning and bettering students’ experiences, and Magoc definitely fits the bill.
He is also involved in community service in the Erie area and is eager to get his students involved.

Magoc is the co-founder and president of Preservation Erie, a historic organization that is currently taking inventory and restoring historic buildings in the Erie county proximity.

Magoc is also a five-time published author and is in the process of completing and publishing an 880,000-word encyclopedia of American Imperialism and Expansionism.

Overall, Magoc is an asset to the history department. His pure joy in American history and the parallels it has over time captivates his audiences and pulls them into the field.

To know more about Chris Magoc, Ph. D., please contact him at or (814) 824-2075.