Doctor of Modern History and Literature
Q. Like many of your colleagues, you are a teacher/scholar, correct?
A. I’ve been an American history teacher for 33 years, and my enthusiasm to learn more about our great country has been stoked by this great opportunity at Drew.
Q. Please share some of the aspects you’ve most enjoyed.
A. I have enjoyed a variety of courses, ranging from American intellectual history to the Harlem Renaissance and Irish history. The professors have been dynamic, enthusiastic and excellent scholars. One very interesting class experience was a re-creation of the 1925 Scopes Trial, in which I served as the trial judge.
Q. Sounds interesting—and timely.
A. It was. The class did a great job in reinvigorating the arguments of a case that still reverberates today.
Q. In addition your duties as a teacher and a student, you also are the International Director of the Lions Club International, yes?
A. Yes, I help formulate policy for our 1.3 million members from 202 nations worldwide and serve as a good-will ambassador to various locales. Our greatest accomplishment of the past three years was realized recently with the completion of Campaign SightFirst II, in which $210 million was raised to eradicate the causes of preventable blindness by 2020.
Q. Are you able to incorporate your academic work into your service to the community, or vice versa?
A. Particularly with the experiences of the SightFirst campaign and my interactions with Lions from around the world, I’ve been given amazing stories to relate in my classes. For instance, I recently visited an all-girls school in India, where most of the student body represented the poorest in their community. The school was built by the Lions, and the eyeglasses that many wore were donated by individuals from around the United States and collected by Lions. I saw firsthand how lives were being affected by our simple actions here at home, and how by caring we can make a difference. It’s added a new dimension to my life, one that truly helps me learn.
Q. How would you categorize your overall Drew experience?
A. My overall Drew experience has been wonderful. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of my courses, and the professors here are first rate. They are accessible, supportive and truly help to establish a collaborative atmosphere. For instance, I have received very helpful advice on my pending dissertation.
Q. Final thoughts?
A. After a 25-year absence from a college campus, I have enjoyed the friendships, camaraderie and vibrancy of the academic atmosphere at Drew.