Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Farewell, until August!

I just couldn't leave for my sabbatical without one more post. I realized that announcing the new Chair of History also meant I was announcing my "retirement," so here goes.....
After five and a half years, I am stepping down as chair of the History Department.

In some ways, I am a little sad to be leaving this job behind. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the faculty and students in the department. We've done a lot of amazing things in the last five years: we hired Professor Purcell and Professor Dungy; we weathered NEASC and an external self-study; the number of majors has grown exponentially.
In other ways, the job has certainly had its perks; it has certainly been nice to be the person who says "yes!" to students when they want to declare a major or minor in History, need a little help with their study abroad application, or just my signature for an add/drop form.

It has also been nice to welcome parents to events like the Phi Alpha Theta induction ceremonies, the ice cream socials at graduation time, or the student research symposium events.

There are some things I won't miss: the extra meetings and the endless administrative paperwork. I am also looking forward to getting back to my research and writing on my sabbatical this spring and then back to full time teaching next fall. I'll see you all in AY 11/12!

New Chair in the Chair!

The History Department welcomes our new chair, George Dameron. In the spring, Professor Dameron will assume the responsibility of leading the department.
Professor Dameron becomes chair in an exciting moment. In the fall of 2011, we embark on a new curriculum with all kinds of changes.
While the department is excited about these changes, we also expect there will be some adjustments to be made.
We also have two new faculty members who will need guidance and mentoring; his plate will be full! We look forward to his leadership in the new year with anticipation and pleasure!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Senior Thesis History and American Studies Students Rock!

Friday, Dec 3rd and Saturday, Dec 4th, were the History Senior Theses Presentations for the Fall semester of 2010. This year twenty-one students presented their capstone projects over two days. The projects ranged from papers on "Bohemia, Sex, and Art" in 20th century United States (Alexandra MacMillan) to "Kingship and Kinship" in medieval Europe (Ryan Socha).

Professor Ke-wen Wang, thesis coordinator for the fall, organized the broad group of papers into sessions of three papers each on related topics. Each student presented their work in a 15 minute talk with powerpoint slides to support their work. At the end of each session, the panel opened the floor to questions from the audience.

All of the papers were interesting, well presented and are a tribute to the students, their hard work, and the students' various mentors. Congratulations on a job well done!