ASC professors and teachers explore the past

(07-20-2010)

Adams State College History Professors Rich Loosbrock and Ed Crowther recently completed another summer of educational activities with thirty teachers from Santa Fe, N.M., with funding from a Teaching American History Grant.

Historian Joe Gendusa, a New Orleans Native, illustrates burial practices in New Orleans.

Historian Joe Gendusa, a New Orleans Native, illustrates burial practices in New Orleans.

Activities included a week-long intensive institute on the New Deal and World War II, a nine-day long excursion to historic sites in Washington, D. C., and Colonial Williamsburg, and most recently, an eight-day long trek from Memphis, Tenn., to New Orleans, La. Highlights of the last trip included visiting the National Civil Rights Museum, the Delta Blues Museum, the Vicksburg National Battlefield, the National World War II Museum, and a guided tour of the devastation in New Orleans wrought by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. In addition to travel, participants were able to earn graduate-level continuing education credit for participating in the trip and performing some additional assignments.

This was Loosbrock's eighth summer leading these trips. "Touring historic sites is a great way to bring the past alive," he said. "We were even able to meet and talk with Reverend Billy Kyles," who helped organize the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike in 1968 and was standing beside Dr. Martin Luther King at the time of his assassination.

U. S. Park Service Historian Terry Winschel discusses the siege of Vicksburg.

U. S. Park Service Historian Terry Winschel discusses the siege of Vicksburg.

Trish Strain, a Santa Fe elementary teacher, said she learned more history in a summer than she had in a lifetime. "This was an awesome experience." Crowther said working with the teachers over the past years was especially rewarding. "It is the very core of the mission of Adams State.

Depending on the continuation of funding, Loosbrock and Crowther will continue some limited programming in Santa Fe during the fall. "We don't know the future of the Teaching American History programming," noted Crowther. "With the recent passing of Senator Robert Byrd, who created the programming, TAH dollars may be assigned elsewhere."