Professor emeritus of history, co-founder of the women’s studies minor
Michelle Maskiell received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Pennsylvania and pursued a long and successful career in academics studying gender in South Asia. Rumor has it that a stay in India during college sent her home with a diamond in her nose and a career-shaping interest in the history and culture of South Asia. She began working at Montana State University in 1984 and served in a number of high-level administrative positions, including affirmative action officer, assistant dean in the College of Letters and Science and assistant vice president for academic affairs. In 1988, Maskiell became the first woman to chair the Department of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies at MSU. With an eye toward a possible future major in women’s studies, Maskiell helped form and co-chaired the founding committee to organize what is now the women's gender and sexuality studies minor. In addition to many other awards, she received the Betty Coffey award in 2002. Her numerous publications made her a leading voice on gender issues in modern South Asia.
Michelle Maskiell taught me how to think. She taught me how to write. She taught me how to take a break. She taught me how to believe in myself. But, most of all, Michelle gave me an opportunity. I am beyond grateful.