Letter from the Chair
Welcome to the thirteenth edition of the MU History Department’s newsletter!
As you’ll see, this has been a typically busy year for the department. It has also been remarkable for the number of major life events that affected history faculty, staff, and graduate students, from deaths within our immediate families to the births of a daughter and a grandson, from spouses’ health issues to the buying of first homes, from the loss of beloved pets to the joys of new puppies. The sympathy and kindness of our colleagues lessens somewhat the grief and stress when the news is bad; by the same token, their excitement and joy help us celebrate when the news is good. I know this from personal experience; my father died last fall and my daughter gave birth to our first grandchild early this winter! The response of my colleagues during those emotional extremes reminded me that we are not simply a group of teachers and students, but a community of friends and colleagues.
We accomplished many things this year, but I want to point out a few highlights:
Tim McMahon became the fourteenth history faculty member to win the Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the sixth among current members of the history department. No other department has earned more than ten teaching awards since the awards were established in the 1950s. You can read more about Tim and the other awardees here. And you can watch Tim’s remarks at the Pere Marquette banquet here.
Laura Matthew received the “Mentor of the Year” Award from the Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences. Monai Myles, one of Laura’s mentees, wrote that “She is the most supportive professor I’ve ever had because despite the many tasks she juggles as a professor, she finds the time to nurture our relationship, provide me with advice, and seek my opinion on issues that she confronts as an educator as well.”
Dan Meissner was one of three MU faculty to receive Fulbright Fellowships for 2017-2018. Meissner will travel to China to teach Sino-American relations at Xiamen University in the fall and at the University of Hong Kong in the spring. His wife Mary Louise Buley-Meissner, an English professor at the UW-Milwaukee, also received a Fulbright for next year. Read more about Dan’s award here.
Two of our PhD students also received unique honors this year:
Peter Borg (left) won the first annual Three Minute Thesis competition at Marquette University with a presentation on his dissertation, "'The Colored Problem' - Milwaukee's White Urban Churches Respond to the Second Great Migration." Peter represented Marquette University at the Three Minute Thesis Regional Competition. You can watch his winning presentation here.
Maggie Nettesheim-Hoffmann, was awarded a Humanities Without Walls (HWW) PreDoctoral Fellowship for 2017. As a Fellow, Maggie received a $5,000 stipend and attended a summer workshop in Chicago, which focused on ways for doctoral students in the humanities to think of themselves as agents of the public humanities and showcase opportunities beyond the walls of the academy in an uncertain academic job climate. You can read more about this program here.
There is much, much more to learn about the department’s year in the other sections of Timeline.
Finally, in case you’ve missed it, please take a look at the department’s blog, Historians@Work. Almost 4000 people read the dozen or so blogs written by faculty and current and former students posted since last spring—with subjects ranging from the famous “Red Arrow Division” from WWI fame to the Chicago cubs.
That’s all for now—thanks for checking out the newsletter and let us know how you’re doing. And don’t hesitate to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about the department or to share news for next year’s newsletter!