University of Southern Maine (History)
Universität Passau, Germany (PhD)
I have a Ph.D in the Auxiliary Sciences of History (Historische Hilfswissenschaften), (magna cum laude) from the Universität Passau, Germany. My field of research is the history of cartography, early modern European and World history.
I have taught, presented and conducted research in these fields at the University of Passau, the Technical University of Dresden, the University of Southern Maine, the University of Utrecht and Trinity College Dublin. My academic career is my second career and began with a BA in History with a minor in German from the University of Southern Maine in 1998, followed by 8 years as the reference librarian (assistant curator) at the University of Southern Maine’s Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education.
My teaching philosophy reflects my interest in interdisciplinary study and the need to show students that historical moments did not take place in a vacuum. These moments in history must be portrayed and understood as part of an interconnected fabric where not only the ornate images representing highpoints of history are important, but that the mundane fibers that make up the fabric are of equal importance. In my teaching I find that a research-based interactive format that treats the students as individuals who should be guided to form their own base of knowledge, is better than the blank slate textbook format of learn and regurgitate. By asking the students to research a subject-related topic that will then be discussed and analyzed within a historic time frame, a better and more lasting comprehension of the topic can be achieved. Starting at the undergraduate level, a hands-on understanding of history, from the mundane to the monumental, enables students to think for themselves and to expand their ability to undertake informative research. By researching the overlaying and often intertwining aspects of any given historical event or topic, a student will form a clearer and firmer understanding of the intricacies of history. I also believe that to achieve this we must work together with other disciplines to give students a broad understanding of the importance of history in today’s fast paced society.
I bring with me a wide range of life experiences, from my early career in the yacht and ship building industry, the army and army reserve, to an expertise in historic building restoration and museum and archival fields. This coupled with having lived and worked in Europe for over eighteen years, in England, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands, has given me a unique transatlantic view of the world and of European and American history. I have a Ph.D in the Auxiliary Sciences of History (Historische Hilfswissenschaften), (magna cum laude) from the Universität Passau, Germany. My field of research is the history of cartography, early modern European and World history.
I have taught, presented and conducted research in these fields at the University of Passau, the
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