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Debbie Z. Harwell recently received her Ph.D. from the University of Houston where she studied modern U.S. history, specializing in women’s activism during the civil rights movement. As the managing editor of Houston History since 2009, she has become deeply involved in the study of public history methods and the history of the Houston region. A native Houstonian, she incorporates personal knowledge with historical research in working with the magazine staff to select each magazine’s theme, articles, and images.

In addition to publishing an article in the Journal of Southern History on the civil rights project Wednesdays in Mississippi, her book Wednesdays in Mississippi: Proper Ladies Working for Radical Change was released by University Press of Mississippi in the fall of 2014. She has contributed numerous articles to Houston History and is responsible for moving the magazine through the various stages of production.

In 2009, Harwell received the Margaret Henson Award from the UH History Department for the best paper in women’s history and, in 2012, received the John O. King Award for the department’s outstanding graduate student. In addition to her responsibilities at the magazine, she teaches a regional history class in the Honors College at the university.