History faculty member brings ‘Tuning Project’ to Marshall

Marshall University has been well represented in the American Historical Association’s Tuning Project, thanks to the efforts of Dr. David Trowbridge, associate professor of history.

Trowbridge has spearheaded Marshall’s involvement in the project, which is designed to explore the ways that the study of history can encourage citizenship, lifetime learning, and successful employment.

DTrowbridgeInterview“I joined the AHA’s Tuning Project because I wanted to know how I could more fully prepare my students for fulfilling lives and successful careers,” Trowbridge said. “I also wanted to find a way to express the unique value of a history degree to students and skeptics. I viewed the Tuning Project as an opportunity to join with other members of our discipline, address these questions, and express the value of our craft.”

At Marshall, the history department faculty, College of Liberal Arts Dean Dr. David Pittenger and Denise Hogsett and Debby Stoler from Career Services met with area employers who often hire Marshall graduates and current Marshall students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The groups were joined by Dr. James Grossman, executive director of the AHA.

The result of the meetings, Trowbridge said, was a clear validation of the value of a liberal arts education for students’ future employment.  “I could not have invented a more rigorous defense of the study of history and classic liberal arts education,” he said with regard to the employers’ comments.

In addition, students and employers identified what made the study of history valuable: perspective, understanding change over time and the ability to conduct meaningful research.

Further information on the project at Marshall may be found in Trowbridge’s description, “The AHA Tuning Project at Marshall University,” online at http://www.marshall.edu/wamnewsletter/files/2013/02/AHATuningProject_Feb2013.pdf. In addition, Trowbridge gave a video interview during the AHA’s annual meeting last month in New Orleans, which may be viewed at  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbygnG5v9Bw.


Photo: Dr. David Trowbridge, associate professor of history at Marshall, gave a video interview about the American Historical Association’s Tuning Project at the AHA’s conference in January.