Dr. Iris Engstrand
A native of Southern California, Dr. Engstrand earned her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. A specialist in Spanish exploration during the 18th century and California history, Dr. Engstrand has been a professor of history at the University of San Diego since 1968.
USD has recognized Dr. Engstrand with a Davies Award for Faculty Achievement (1984) and a distinguished University Professorship (2004-2005). Dr. Engstrand has received numerous research fellowships including those from the Fulbright Commission and Huntington Library, and was president of the American Historical Association Pacific Coast Branch in 1999. In 2007, the King of Spain awarded her the Medal of the Order of Isabel la Católica for outstanding contributions to the history of Spain in the Americas.
Dr. Engstrand has published numerous articles, chapters, and over twenty-five books that document Spanish exploration, contributions of 18th-century Spanish and Mexican naturalists, and California history. These include San Diego: California’s Cornerstone (2015) a popular local history. She has mentored several graduate students by co-authoring with them histories of San Diego’s leaders and institutions.
A Dr. Engstrand has co-edited The journal of San Diego History since 2004. She has been recognized with Awards of Merit from the California, Southern California, and San Diego Historical Societies, and the Women’s International Center’s 2004 Living Legacy Award. She enjoys swimming and sailing.