Steve Lechner is an Assistant Teaching Professor here at NC State. He teaches or has taught the following undergraduate courses: HI 254: Modern American History; HI 305: Frauds and Mysteries of the Past; and HI 380: History of Nonprofits, Philanthropy, and Social Movements, as well as the following graduate seminars: HI 594: Cultural Heritage and HI 552: Recent America. He also designed and taught Sports History as an undergraduate summer course.
Steve also serves as Director of NC State’s History Honors program.
Steve’s diverse background includes practicing law, teaching high school social studies, coaching high school football, and working for the then-Los Angeles Raiders. He has unofficially mentored dozens of NC State students considering law school as their next step after completing their undergraduate degree.
Prior to making North Carolina his home, Steve lived in Maine, Iowa, Oklahoma, California, and Missouri. He originally hails from the Catskill Mountain region of New York State. Steve, his wife Jennifer (Executive Director of North Carolina’s Equal Access to Justice Commission), their daughter, Grace (student at Boston University), and their son, Abe (student at Broughton High School), reside in Garner.
Professional Activities and Research
Steve graduated with a Ph.D. in public history from North Carolina State University in 2020. Steve’s dissertation focused on collective memory, ethnic identity, and late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century immigration. More specifically, his work examined the diasporic past of Yorkville, a neighborhood located in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. From the 1880s through the first half of the twentieth-century, Yorkville was home to multiple first and second generation European Americans. The vast majority of these newcomers hailed from Germany and Hungary. As this neighborhood experienced gentrification, individuals and groups associating themselves with these collective identities made claims regarding the area’s ethnic past. One might say these groups are engaged in a contest to name and frame Yorkville’s history.
In addition to immigration history, Steve’s research has touched on North Carolina’s Reconstruction history, local narratives relating to the Black Liberation Movement, and the history of New York’s Catskill region (Steve’s home territory).
Ph.D. Public History North Carolina State University 2020
M.A. History University of North Carolina at Greensboro 2015
J.D. University of Maine School of Law 1999
M.A. Communications Drake University 1997
B.S. Parks, Recreation and Tourism University of Missouri 1993