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Dr. Thomas Howell
Professor of History

Preparing Students

Dr. Thomas Howell believes that history gives us “a wonderful perspective on understanding why things are the way they are” and “a fascination with comparing people, places, and times.” He wants history students at Jewell to develop (1) a sense of sequence, which comes from knowing basic facts, (2) a sense of relevance about what developments are important and about which ones have influenced the present, (3) a sense of recurring patterns that allow historians to compare events in different time periods, and (4) a sense of the way history is written and interpreted by successive generations.

To keep his students focused, Dr. Howell uses audiovisual materials. He explains, “Professors can have the best information in the world, but if they can’t hold the students’ attention, they are not going to succeed in conveying it.” His presentations are also enriched by his travels to all the American states and more than 50 countries on six continents. “There is simply no substitute for on-site examination to broaden one’s understanding,” he asserts. He strongly encourages students to enroll in one of the many Jewell programs to study abroad. He also advises them to take advantage of the opportunities that the local Kansas City area offers, such as the National World War I Museum, the Truman Library and the Pony Express Museum.

Dr. Howell supports his students outside of class by attending a variety of campus activities. His special interests include sports, hiking, opera, theater, science fiction, weather, astronomy and woodworking. In addition, Dr. Howell is a conference commissioner in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, and he chairs the organization’s National Eligibility Committee.    

 Perspectives
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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