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Dr. William Knoblauch wins Board of Trustees Distinguished Faculty Award

May 3, 2018

Bill Knoblauch

Dr. William Knoblauch was honored as the Board of Trustees Distinguished Faculty Award recipient at the 2018 Commencement on Sunday, April 29.

Knoblauch, an assistant professor of history, joined Finlandia in 2012. He teaches 17 courses including History of Rock & Roll, Energy and World Power, and Rise of American Capitalism. He also chairs the History department.

“Winning this award is really nice because my peers nominated me and that feels good,” said Knoblauch.

Knoblauch said his peers told him they nominated him for the award because of the amount of scholarship and publishing he does, and because he cares about the students.

“We all really care about the students,” he added. “I think it’s a really nice gesture by the board of trustees, and for them to say ‘we recognize what you’re doing,’ I really appreciate that. I can’t wait to see who wins it next year.”

Knoblauch received his B.A. in Business & Economics and History from Northland College in 2003, his M.A. in U.S. History from Northern Arizona University in 2006 and his Ph.D. in 20th Century U.S. History from Ohio University in 2012. He researches and writes about Cold War politics and culture, has been published in 11 book chapters and journal articles and is currently working on three more pieces set to come out this year.

William KnoblauchA True Calling

Teaching history is a calling for Knoblauch, who started his college career majoring in business.

“I found that every semester I would take history classes for fun,” said Knoblauch. “So, after I got my business degree in 2002, I went back and got my history major in 2003. Then I moved to Seattle to play music, because that’s what you did back in the early 2000s, and I realized I would really much rather be doing history.”

He moved back home to northern Wisconsin, got a job as a substitute teacher, then went back to school for his M.A. and eventually his Ph.D.

“It doesn’t feel like work, which is a great thing,” said Knoblauch.

While he loves working with the students, he’s most excited about the opportunities Finlandia gives him to shape the History program how he sees fit.

“I like the autonomy Finlandia provides,” said Knoblauch. “There aren’t a ton of history majors at Finlandia. It’s growing, but there are only about 10 or 12. But the last statistical breakdown that I looked at, history is the number one general education course students take. So if you can pass my class you can graduate college. That’s the connection I see anyway.”

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