History Department
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History Department

What We Do:

History is the memory of human experience. We seek to provide our students with an understanding of the significant institutions, events, trends and individuals that have shaped that experience, thus helping them to develop a better understanding of contemporary cultures and the human condition.

History provides the context with which we define our relationship with our local community, nation and the world.

Adam Pratt, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of History

How We Stand Out:

As a department we stand out because we offer our students a foundation for almost any career they can imagine.  Steeped in the tradition of the Jesuit ratio studiorum, we train our students not only as scholars but as citizens.  Small classes and a plan of study that focuses on developing your skills as a writer, a speaker, and a critical thinker help to prepare you for wherever life takes you. 

Our majors have gone on to graduate program in business, law, history, and medicine all over the world.  They have received Fulbright grants, joined the Peace Corps, and served in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.  Many have gone on to become professors, lawyers, judges, corporate executives, State Department officials, and even doctors.  We standout because a degree in History from the University of Scranton can take you almost anywhere.

Programs:

The Department of History offers two major programs--History and International Studies--that provide students with a foundation for successful careers that require sound knowledge of the past, present, and possible future of the nation and world.

Meet Our Faculty:

Our department’s team of experts powerfully demonstrates the love of history. Representing a broad range of experience and knowledge, professors are dedicated to their students and interact with them personally. Distinguished faculty are also committed to research, scholarship and publishing in order to advance the discipline and extend the reach of the University of Scranton’s history department. Thanks to extensive connections, our experienced faculty bring contemporary experts to speak on campus.

Whether presenting at the American Historical Association’s Annual Meeting, leading study tours, or mentoring individual students, faculty members model both teaching and scholarship at its best. Just a few examples:

  • Dr. Roy Domenico received the Distinguished Teaching Award from the American Catholic Historical Association. Dr. Domenico leads popular study trips to Europe every other year and colors his teaching of history with references to another passion—old movies.
  • Dr. Shuhua Fan presented her paper “A Golden Decade in China: The Harvard-Yenching Institute and Yenching University (1928-1937)” at an international conference in Bejing, China.
  • Dr. Dave Dzurec is the most recent history department faculty member to receive a Fulbright grant. As part of his grant Dr. Dzurec spent the Spring 2015 semester at Trnava University in the Slovak Republic.

Roy P. Domenico

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Professor

B.A., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
M.A., University of Connecticut
Ph.D., Rutgers University

Phone: 570-941-7625
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Sean Brennan

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Associate Professor

B.A., Rockhurst University
M.A., Villanova University
Ph.D., University of Notre Dame

Phone: 570-941-7625
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Michael D. DeMichele

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Professor

B.S., The University of Scranton
M.A., Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University

Phone: 570-941-7625
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Josephine M. Dunn

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Professor

B.A., B.F.A., University of Houston
M.A., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Phone: 570-941-7625
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David J. Dzurec III

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Chair

Associate Professor

B.A., Fairfield University
M.A., University of Connecticut
Ph.D., The Ohio State University

Phone: 570-941-7625
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Website

Shuhua Fan

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Associate Professor

B.A., Sichuan Normal University
M.A. Jilin University
M.A., Ph.D., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Phone: 570-941-7625
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Lawrence W. Kennedy

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Professor

A.B., A.M., Ph.D., Boston College

Phone: 570-941-7625
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Lee M. Penyak

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Professor

B.A., Fairfield University
M.A., Ph.D., University of Connecticut

Phone: 570-941-7625
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Susan Poulson

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Professor

B.A., George Washington University
M.A., Ph.D., Georgetown University

Phone: 570-941-7625
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Adam J. Pratt

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Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Louisiana State University

Phone: 570-941-7625
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Robert W. Shaffern

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Professor

B.A., DePaul University
M.A., Ph.D., University of Notre Dame

Phone: 570-941-7625
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Willis M. Conover

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Professor Emeritus

Ed.D., Montana State University

Phone: 570-941-7625
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Francis X.J. Homer

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Professor Emeritus and University Historian

Ph.D., University of Virginia

Phone: 570-941-7625
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Robert F. Hueston

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Professor Emeritus

Ph.D., University of Notre Dame

Phone: 570-941-7625
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Inside the Classroom:

The Department supports the liberal arts mission of the University by giving students a historical perspective on the human condition, while, at the same time, contributing to the development of their ability to read perceptively, write cogently, and think logically. Key aspects include

  • An emphasis on personal growth, professional competence, and civic responsibility
  • Attention to the context in which history is written and how perceptions may change over time
  • Service learning with the inspiration of local history

History and I.S. Majors have numerous opportunities to expand on their experience inside the classroom. They may

  • pursue “on the job” experiences through off-campus internships where they use their knowledge and skills in work situations related to their majors.
  • pursue specialized learning activities through Independent Study.
  • elect to study outside the United States for a semester or a year
  • take advantage of opportunities to be involved in faculty research.

Click here for more information on all of thes options.

Faculty-Mentored Student Research

Christine Panzitta, Class of 2015, researched how the Union government and local communities dealt with the problem of desertion during the Civil War. Her study, titled “Desertion in the Union Army, 1861-1866,” was awarded the Weinberg Memorial Library’s 2013-2014 Undergraduate Research Prize. Her advisor was Visiting Assistant Professor of History Dr. Adam Pratt.

William Reddington, Class of 2013, researched the role environmental factors played in the failed American invasion of Quebec in 1775.  Will’s interest in the impact of the environment on historical events grew out of an Environmental Science course that he had taken as part of the honors program. Will’s project was awarded honorable mention in the Weinberg Memorial Library’s 2012-2013 Undergraduate Research Prize.  His advisor was Associate Professor of History Dr. David Dzurec.  

Independent study in Scranton’s history department is student-driven and flexible.

David Dzurec, III, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History

Career Outcomes:

You’ll find Scranton graduates with a history degree working in fields such as:

  • Government
  • Education
  • Business
  • Law
  • Public service/Politics
  • Research

The study of history is advantageous to many different careers, helping students to develop both academically and professionally. Graduates are armed with transferrable skills in critical thinking, analysis and communicating. Many students choose double majors with history and another discipline, and, in the tradition of a liberal arts Jesuit education, are prepared for a vast array of occupations or advanced study. More information