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Dr. Elaine Reynolds
Professor of History and Chair 

Building Relationships

While Dr. Elaine Reynolds specializes in British history, she enjoys teaching a variety of courses including comparative revolutions, women’s history and modern Europe. In all of them she encourages class participation, believing that “we learn from and with one another.” She explains, “Historian E. H. Carr has said that history is a conversation between the past and the present, and I want my students to be able to join that conversation.” First, however, they must have “a background of accurate information” and they should be able to “make judgment calls about what is important and what to ask.” She sees the relationship between learner and teacher as a dynamic one “based on trust and challenge and risk-taking.”

Building relationships with Jewell students is of paramount importance to Dr. Reynolds, who serves as department chair. While some ask for advice periodically, others expect more guidance and personal attention. “I enjoy my work as an advisor,” she says, “and I am happy to mentor those students who want a deeper, more long-term relationship.” To “see students in different settings,” she frequently attends Jewell events, sometimes accompanied by her Welsh corgi, Brecon. She is also involved in various activities like teaching water aerobics, reading murder mysteries, singing in her church choir and researching Chinese history and Native Americans.

Although Dr. Reynolds admits she spent her first two years in college studying nursing, she eventually found her calling. A voracious reader, she encourages history students to read primary and secondary sources critically. “We want our graduates to be able to understand and to analyze an extended book-length argument,” she says. She also promotes research and involves students in her current projects whenever they show an interest.      

Studying history shapes minds, broadens views and prepares students for the world. Read how these history majors and professors find a connection with Jewell and their chosen field.









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