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April Summitt
April Summitt, Ph.D.
Dean, Division of General Studies


  • Ph.D., history, Western Michigan University, 2002
  • M.A., history, Andrews University, 1993
  • B.A., history and English, Newbold College, Berkshire, England, 1987

Principal Research Interests

I have three intersecting areas of specialty: diplomatic history, American Indian cultural history, and environmental history. What do these three subjects have in common? The most simple answer is: water.

I grew up near the Tennessee River and have always felt a strong connection to water. As I researched my Ph.D. dissertation on U.S.-Middle East relations during the Kennedy administration, I examined the conflict over dividing the waters of the Jordan River in Palestine. Later, after moving to a position at Arizona State University, I shifted my research focus to water in the American Southwest, where I studied the environmental history of the Colorado River, and American Indian history of the West in connection to water and environment. 

Research Area: 

  • Environmental history
  • Colorado River
  • American Indian cultural history
  • U.S.-Middle East Relations/Jordan River
  • Rivers and water history

Phone: 951-785-2499


  • Teacher of the Year, Andrews University, 1999-2000
  • Advisor of the Year, Andrews University, 2000-2001

Representative publications

  1. Book: Contested Waters: an Environmental History of the Colorado River. University Press of Colorado, 2013.
  2. Book: Sequoyah and the Invention of the Cherokee Alphabet. Greenwood Press, 2013.
  3. Book: Sacagawea: A Biography. Greenwood Press, 2008.
  4. Book: John F. Kennedy and U.S.-Middle East Relations: A History of Foreign Policy in the 1960s. Edwin Mellen Press, 2008.