In recent years the Bethel University Library has become a community gathering place on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, regularly hosting faculty, staff, and students for talks on a wide array of topics. People from the History Department have been frequent contributors at these events, including a series in which professors “Talk about Teaching” and another in which students returning from studying abroad reflect on their experiences.
You can find many of these videos (from our department and others) archived at the new Bethel University Digital Library’s Community Video Collection. But this summer we’ll take time to spotlight a few of our own folks — starting with Sam Mulberry.
Sam graduated from Bethel in 1999 with a degree in History, earned his master’s in American History at the University of Minnesota, and returned to Bethel (those last two overlapped a bit) to direct the Academic Enrichment and Support Center and play a leading role in coordinating and teaching GES130 Christianity in Western Culture (CWC). In his “Talk about Teaching” presentation earlier this month, Sam reflected on how he and CWC/History colleague Chris Gehrz came to convince themselves that it would be possible to design an online version of CWC, after initially being quite wary of the idea.
The talk is well worth watching for the discussion of online education and to see how Sam and Chris are planning to adapt CWC to that environment (starting next summer). But it’s much more than that: Sam treated the session as a chance to give his intellectual autobiography, sharing how a wide variety of experiences and relationships helped him to discern his calling as a teacher (our own Kevin Cragg, G.W. Carlson, and Diana Magnuson play starring roles) and prepared him for his current role at Bethel.