This year, we’re shining a spotlight on the fantastic OKWU professors who dedicate their lives to helping students achieve their callings.
We’re talking today with Julie Hufstetler, Assistant Professor of History and Political Science in the School of Arts and Sciences. Hufstetler received her B.A. from Texas A&M University, eventually going on to achieve her M.A. from the University of Houston. Her passion for teaching came later in her life, but now that she’s doing it, she wouldn’t trade it for anything. She focuses her instruction on the narratives of history, knowing it’s the story element that makes the subject come alive for her students.
How did you end up here as a professor at OKWU?
“My husband got a job at ConocoPhilips and we moved here from Houston. I fell in love with the campus and applied for an adjunct position. When a full-time position opened up, I immediately interviewed!”
What’s your favorite thing about the job?
“The students. I love that we have such small class sizes – it’s so conducive to building relationships. Many of my students have become like family – they babysit my young kids and we have them over for dinner. My husband loves to grill steak and my students love the free food! I love the community that OKWU has given us.”
Favorite class to teach?
“I love teaching Nazi Germany. It’s a very difficult topic, but so relevant today. We get into some great discussion in the class.”
Favorite thing to do in your free time?
“Free time? I don’t understand this term. Just kidding… sort of. I love running, watching The Office, crafting, and listening to true crime podcasts.”
What’s the biggest thing you hope your students take away from one of your classes?
“That history matters! It is vital that we study the past in order to prepare for the future. It’s so cliché, but true – those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it.”
What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
“Family, Love, and Work in the Lives of Victorian Gentlewomen. It is the story of the middle-class Paget family that lived during the Victorian Era.”
What motivates you in your work?
“My desire to show students that studying history is not only vital, but also really fun!”
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
“Mashed potatoes. I never get sick of them.”
What period of history is your favorite to study?
If you could share a meal with any four individuals from history, who would you choose?
“Great question! Queen Victoria and her governess, Louise Lehzen; Major Dick Winters (from 101st Airborne Division -Band of Brothers); and Winston Churchill.”
If you could go back in time to witness one historical event, what would you see?
“The Great Exhibition of 1851 in London – specifically Queen Victoria’s dedication. (See a pattern here?)”
Lastly, What would you say to a student thinking about committing to an OKWU education?
“You can go anywhere and get a good education. But at OKWU, we really challenge students to think critically and form a worldview based on biblical truth. Also, you won’t just be a faceless name to your professors here. The faculty truly cares about their students and wants them to succeed.”