Farewell to the Past


photo provided by Thomas Harvell-DeGolier

I’ve found my academic home at Trinity studying history. The department is dedicated to helping students and is filled with amazing people. Over my four years, I’ve grown to really appreciate the history faculty as they’ve guided my growth as a historian. This is my thanks to them.

Jason Johnson, a historian of modern Germany, is more involved as the faculty sponsor of PRIDE than any other faculty sponsor I’ve seen or heard of. He does not just advise the group as a matter of formality; rather, he cares about its success, and it is a wonderful thing. I am so glad I had a chance to take his History of the Holocaust course. It was one of the most incredible courses I have ever been in, and I hope to be able to teach a course like Johnson taught that one.

Anene Ejikeme, a historian of Africa, specifically Nigeria, is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met, and it was an absolute joy getting to conduct summer research with her on the history of marriage. She’s funny, she’s brilliant, and while I never got to take a formal class with her, getting the chance to work with her in any capacity was an absolute joy, and I am so happy to have had her as an advisor.

Gina Tam, a historian of modern China, is by far one of the funniest professors I’ve ever had. In fact, I loved her course so much I almost considered switching my language to Chinese and my focus. That did not last, but it did almost happen. She is a brilliant scholar, and I am so glad I was able to take a course with her. I also loved how she incorporated women’s history into her East Asian survey course.

David Lesch, a historian of modern Syria, is also incredible. Seriously, he consults with the United Nations and can tell you stories about meeting with Syrian officials. However, I admire him most for his relative humility and laidback attitude in the classroom. If you look up his background, he is quite intimidating. However, he has a dry humor and a lack of pretension that quickly puts you at ease and makes his classes quite enjoyable. Don’t let his CV scare you; take a class with him!

Erin Kramer, a historian of early America, is fantastic. With expertise on Native peoples and a focus on centering their stories and perspectives, Kramer shows that history is far more than studying old white dudes. She expands the minds of her students and exposes them to different methodologies and inquiries. She has quickly grown to be one of my favorite professors here at Trinity. With a focus on improving student writing and cognizance of treating students fairly and respectfully, she is a standout. In fact, she is the only professor I’ve had who asks students for their preferred pronouns — which really matters!

Lauren Turek, historian of U.S. foreign relations, is my former adviser and mentor. She has helped nurture my passion for studying history. I met with her about becoming a history major, promptly became one and asked her to be my adviser. She has supervised internships, written letters of recommendations and corrected many cover letters and resumes. She is the professor I trust most. She cares about student success both inside and outside of her class. It has been an honor getting to work with her, and her research interests have shaped mine as I head off to do graduate work. She has shown me what a professor should be, and I hope I can live up to her example.

Finally, Carey Latimore, a historian of African American history, and the department chair, has run this department exceptionally well. When his door is open, I’m always able to chat, and we have discussed the future, academia, the job market and so much more. I’ve sat in his chair so much he’s joked about naming it after me. Dr. Latimore mixes an innate cool with admirable care for students and faculty. He is brilliant and kind — his care and amiability with students reflect and set the tone of the department. I am grateful that I have the chance to take a course with him in my last semester at Trinity.

While I’ve left off those I have not had a course with, I know they are also amazing. Thank you, Trinity History Department, for guiding me. I hope to carry your influence with me as I continue my academic journey. While I am proud to be a Trinity Tiger, I am prouder to be a graduate of Trinity’s History Department. Y’all are amazing, and I will miss you all.