Ken Zontek
History Instructor​



Dr. Ken Zontek's career encompasses teaching about the history of the Americas, forestry service, writing about Native American efforts to restore buffalo, military service, documentary photography, and advocacy for women's rights. He earned his B.A. from Montana State University, 1988, his Master's degree from New Mexico State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Idaho. He has taught at five high schools in the Pacific Northwest, including Eisenhower High School in Yakima. He has taught at the University of Idaho and Heritage University, and has taught history at YVC since 2004. He teaches classes in American History, Pacific Northwest History, History of Mexico, and the History of Latin America.

Dr. Zontek has served the U.S. Military as a reserve officer in South Korea, Nicaragua, Italy, and Afghanistan and is a graduate of the Counter-Insurgency Academy. While serving in Afghanistan, he became involved in volunteering at a women's shelter which resulted in his starting and leading the Afghan Women's Education Project at YVC. Dr. Zontek can speak to a wide variety of audiences about historical and contemporary issues, bring a wealth of experience and insight to the topic.

Advance Schedule Requirements:Two to three weeks
Travel Restrictions: Central Washington


Beyond Burqas and Bombs - Insights into Afghanistan Dr. Ken Zontek shares his insights on Afghanistan after spending a year there in 2005-2006. Subsequent to his return to the United States, Zontek has continued with humanitarian support for a women's shelter in Afghanistan and launched an Afghan Women's Education project at YVC.
Documentary Photography: Afghanistan Ken Zontek, PhD., compares imagery of Afghanistan from his 2005-2006 sojourn there with the photos and text of National Geographic journalists dating back to the 1930s. The presentation offers a timeless sense in a forbidding region.
Buffalo Nation History instructor Ken Zontek explains the effort of Native Americans to bring back the buffalo. His work will expound on his book Buffalo Nation: The American Indian Effort to Restore the Bison, recipient of the American Library Association's 2008 Best of the Best University Press Award.
Trails and Tails in Northern Mexico Ken Zontek, an environmental historian, provides insights into the landscape of western Sonora captured during his trip there in the winter of 2008-2009. Zontek followed in the footsteps of an American hunter-naturalist, Charles Sheldon, who pursued desert bighorn sheep in the rugged mountains during the late 1910s and early 1920s.
Please contact Joy Clark for more information and scheduling
509.574.6800 x 3285/