Jill Watts

Harry E. Brakebill Distinguished Professor Award
San Marcos

Wonderment and inquisitiveness are the values that ready our students to contribute to the common democratic good.

​Jill Watts is a Professor of History and the History Graduate Program coordinator at CSUSM.  One of the earliest faculty hired at CSUSM, she has helped build the History Department as well as the university.  She is the author of God:  Harlem U.S.A.:  The Father Divine Story, Mae West:  An Icon in Black and White, and Hattie McDaniel:  Black Ambition, White Hollywood. 

Her books on Father Divine and Hattie McDaniel have been optioned for film.  She teaches courses on African American, Modern U.S., Cultural, and Digital History.  She has also worked on digital history projects with her students.  The Brakebill Distinguished Professorship is CSUSM’s highest faculty honor and recognizes outstanding accomplishments in teaching, research, and service.