Doctoral candidate Rebecca Van Horn was recently offered a position in the history and social studies department at Morristown-Beard School. She reflects here on the path that has taken her to this point:
Both the structure and ethos of the History & Culture program have been fundamental in preparing me to teach at the Morristown-Beard School, an institution that recognizes the value of an interdisciplinary history curriculum.
My advisor, Kim Rhodes, encouraged my interest in literature and art history during coursework, which was offered by historians, anthropologists, theologians, political theorists, and literary scholars. Post coursework, my research tutorial and capstones explored twentieth century Irish politics, Modernism, the Bloomsbury Group, and Irish artists in Mediterranean France, respectively. I took Irish language classes at Drew offered by a Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant, and received funding through Fulbright to continue studying the language in Ireland. This sort of multifaceted, interdisciplinary training is unique to Drew’s History & Culture program, and it has as given me the tools to provide a holistic, skills-based education to my own students.
Outside the structural components which helped me craft a particular body of knowledge, the ethos of the History & Culture program has equally prepared me to teach high school students. The Caspersen School motto, “the humanities in the world,” asks academics to convene with the community, and make the complexities of our field accessible to an audience outside the university walls. By helping young people analyze the triumphs and failures of our shared past, I hope to also equip them with tools to thoughtfully scrutinize contemporary conditions, and apply their own humanities training in the world.