Ph.D. Cornell University
M.A. Iowa State University
B.S. Iowa State University
Areas of Expertise:
U.S. politics, society and culture; biography
Courses I Teach:
- America and the Cold War
- American Society and Culture Since 1865
- Presidential Elections
- The Age of FDR
- Senior Seminar
- U.S. History Since 1865
My Saint Michael's:
What I like most about Saint Michael's students is their friendliness and curiosity. The interaction with students and the opportunity to share our excitement about ideas and books is great fun. Students are drawn to the recent past because it often involves events familiar to them, their parents, and other relatives and friends. They like getting a deeper understanding of history they can relate to themselves and people they know.
It's hard to choose a favorite class to teach, but perhaps it is Presidential Elections. I usually teach it in the fall of a presidential election year and like to integrate study of the on-going campaign with that of historical campaigns. This has been a good way to help students understand why candidates, parties, the media, and the whole electoral process is the way it is.
I use debates and role-playing in many of my courses. They provide a unique opportunity for student-to-student interaction and a more spontaneous kind of learning to take place.
U.S. politics, society, and culture in the 20th century; biography
I enjoy the opportunities for teaching and research possible at a college like Saint Michael’s and believe the two activities are mutually supportive. My research helps inform my teaching; my teaching experiences help raise issues for his research.
I have published a biography of William I. Myers, the head of the Farm Credit Administration during the New Deal, and journal articles on Myers, courtship and marriage in the Progressive Era, and Adlai Stevenson’s presidential campaigns. I am working on a dual biography of a pair of idealistic Oberlin College graduates, class of 1912.