SAINT AUGUSTINE – Kathleen Deagan, Distinguished Research Curator Emerita at University of Florida’s Florida Museum of Natural History, has been elected to the Flagler College Board of Trustees.
Deagan is well known for her archaeological research of the Spanish colonial period in Florida and the Caribbean. She has conducted extensive archaeological digs in St. Augustine since 1972, including the identification and excavations of Ft. Mose, America’s first free black community, and Florida’s first Spanish settlement.
Flagler Board of Trustees Chairman Frank Upchurch said Deagan is a natural fit for the Board and will bring a wealth of academic experience.
“It is an honor to have Kathy Deagan join the Board of Trustees,” he said. “She has had a distinguished academic career, and is highly-respected in both her field and throughout the community. She has devoted her life to higher education, and that experience will be invaluable on the Board.”
Deagan has always had a close relationship with Flagler through her frequent field schools in St. Augustine that often included Flagler students and her involvement in the Flagler-based Historic St. Augustine Research Institute.
“I love the Flagler mission,” she said, adding that she has the highest respect for the college’s focus on the liberal arts and its emphasis on citizenship and critical thinking.
Deagan received her Ph.D. in 1974 from University of Florida, and after teaching at Florida State University in its Anthropology Department for eight years, joined University of Florida’s faculty in 1982.
Since 1979, she has worked at Spanish colonial sites in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. She has directed excavations in collaboration with Jose M. Cruxent at Christopher Colombus’ first town in America, La Isabela, and has also directed archaeological programs at Concepcion de la Vega (1496-1562) in the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Real, Haiti (1502-1578). Deagan has also worked since 1983 at the site of En Bas Saline, Haiti, a large Taino town thought to have been the location of La Navidad, Columbus’s first fort, in 1492. She has been a consultant on historic preservation and archaeology projects in Spain, Venezuela, Panama, Peru, Jamaica and Honduras.
Deagan is the author of eight books and more than 65 scientific papers. She was named “Alumna of Outstanding Distinction” by University of Florida in 1998, and is a recipient of the Society for Historical Archaeology’s J.C. Harrington Award for Lifetime Distinction in Historical Archaeology. She was awarded the “Order of La Florida” by the City of St. Augustine in 2007 for distinguished service to the city.