Rick Propas


rick p


University of California, Los Angeles, 1982.

University of California, Los Angeles, 1977.

University of California, Berkeley, 1969.

Office: DMH 141
Email: rickpropas@comcast.net
Phone: 408-924-5520

Areas of Interest

American Foreign Policy: Russia and the Middle East.
20th Century American politics and material culture.
18th Century American politics and culture.
Local and California History.
Public History.


  • "'So Stylish, So Efficient:' Fountain Pens and the Consumer Revolution, 1920-1940." Sycamore 1 (Fall 1997) .
  • Co-author, Bicentennial Guide to Greater Cincinnati, Cincinnati Historical Society, 1988. (650 pp., 300 illus.)
  • "Creating a Hard Line Toward Russia: The Training of State Department Soviet Experts, 1927–1935." Diplomatic History 8 (Summer 1984): 209–26.
  • "The State Department and the Russian Revolution: The Making of Policy, 1918–1924." UCLA Historical Journal 3 (1982): 3–20.

Selected Achievements

  • Editor, The PENnant magazine.
  • Education Coordinator, San Francisco Heritage.
  • Staff Historian, Cincinnati Historical Society.
  • Grants from the:
    • Partnership for Excellence, Evergreen Valley College.
    • Herbert Hoover Presidential Library.
    • Franklin D. Roosevelt Library Association.
    • UCLA Chancellor's Patent Grant Fund.


I have taught history just about anywhere anyone would let me, including Cabrillo, Chabot and Evergreen Valley Colleges, Northwestern University, the University of Illinois, Northern Kentucky University, Xavier University and Cal State, Long Beach. Apart from teaching, I have worked in the non-profit sector as a historian and administrator. I was trained in American foreign policy at the University of California, Los Angeles, where I received the PhD. I have studied 18th century America independently and learned the history of California and the Bay Area and Cincinnati and the Midwest while writing and researching there. I have written newspaper op/ed pieces and have run for school board in Fremont, where I have lived since 1989. An interest in historic writing instruments has led me to edit a national journal and write numerous articles, both scholarly and popular, on fountain pens.