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Dr. Beverly Tomek

Associate Professor, Associate Provost, Dean of University College

"The past informs the present, and knowing about the past makes for informed citizens who can make responsible choices in our democracy. This is just as important as gaining job skills."

Degrees Held:

  • Ph.D. in History – University of Houston, 2006
  • M.A. in History – Southwest Texas State University, 1999
  • B.A. in Humanities – University of Houston-Victoria, 1997

Career Highlights:

I have written three books and a number of articles, received an article prize, and have two books in progress. I have been vice president of the Pennsylvania Historical Association and am an editor of their book series.

In which online bachelor's degree programs do you teach?

B.S. in Criminal Justice, B.S. in Communication, B.A. in Communication, B.S. in University Studies, B.A. in University Studies

Which classes do you teach in the online?

History 1301, History 1302, History 4300 (several different selected topics)

What types of projects can students expect in your online courses?

Lower division: online timed exams, response papers, discussions, working with online primary sources
Upper division: discussions, response papers, research papers

What should students take away from your classes? What do they learn?

They learn history but, more importantly, they learn critical-thinking and writing skills that they can use in all of their classes.

What advice would you give to those considering an online bachelor's degree program?

I would make sure they realize that it's not easier just because it's online. In fact, in some ways it's harder because they have to have serious dedication and time-management skills.

What is the value of a bachelor's degree? What are some of the skills students gain in this program?

Critical thinking, analytical skills, writing skills. These are universal on the job market, and strength in these areas can make a very big difference in being chosen for a job in any field.

Why did you start teaching?

Teaching is what I always wanted to do. I genuinely like people and working with people of all ages and backgrounds. One of the most satisfying things in my life is when a student says something like, “I never liked history because of all the memorizing that was expected. But now I love it because you made me think.” The past informs the present, and knowing about the past makes for informed citizens who can make responsible choices in our democracy. This is just as important as gaining job skills.

What is the one book you think everyone should read?

This would probably change according to what day I'm asked. I think the bigger answer is that I think people should read quality fiction because it is enjoyable and because it helps build understanding and empathy.

Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students may not know.

I love music, especially punk and ska.


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