An associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Capozzola teaches courses in political and legal history, war and the military, and the history of international migration. He specializes in the political and cultural history of the United States from the late 19th century to the present.
In 2009, Capozzola won the James A. and Ruth Levitan Award for excellence in teaching in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. During the 2011-12 academic year, he served as interim associate dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
Capozzola graduated from Harvard College and completed his Ph.D. at Columbia University in 2002.
The Jeans Lecture in History is named in honor of Dr. Virgil and Virginia Jeans, longtime residents of Joplin. Both followed the progress of Missouri Southern with keen interest. They were lifelong learners, placing a high value on education. At their deaths, contributions in their memory were made to the Missouri Southern Foundation; it is that support that funds the lecture series. Funding also is provided by a U.S. Department of Education “Teaching American History” grant.