The School of Liberal Arts at GGC recently welcomed Dr. Erica Metcalfe and Dr. Robert Findlay for the fall 2018 semester as new associate professors of history.
Both professors were hired to continue diversifying the history program.
“(Dr. Findlay) specializes in the history of Southeast Asia which is an area that the history program is seeking to improve in,” said Dr. Mazin Tadros, associate professor of history who was on the committee for hiring Dr. Findlay.
“I wrote my dissertation on U.S. foreign policy in Asia during the Cold War. I lived in Thailand for six months conducting research and even speak Thai and Japanese,” Dr. Findlay said.
Dr. Metcalfe was also hired because of her unique academic specialty.
“After Dr. Ribianszky left, it was important to find someone who could continue to teach the popular course of African American History,” said Dr. Ellen Rafshoon, associate professor of history who was on the committee for hiring Dr. Metcalfe.
“African American history is my favorite because I feel like if everyone studied it, they would change their perspective of African Americans. It would give more awareness. It would help fight some stereotypes that people may have been taught growing up,” Dr. Metcalfe said.
Although they have only been with GGC since the start of the semester, Dr. Metcalfe and Dr. Findlay are already making an impact in their new roles.
“Two weeks ago, there was an event to promote history at GGC to prospective students. Dr. Metcalfe was there, which is a sign to me as her colleague that she is committed to the program and school — not just her own success,” Dr. Rafshoon said.
In addition to serving on the student affairs committee, Dr. Metcalfe is currently working on creating an African American studies minor for the history program at GGC.
“I play pool in the Game Room every Tuesday and Thursday from eleven to twelve and just hang out with students. I have had a few students come up to me and share their stories with me, which has been nice,” Dr. Findlay said.
Dr. Metcalf and Dr. Findlay are both new to Georgia and have taught in institutions much different than GGC.
Originally from Milwaukee, Wis., Dr. Metcalfe received her Ph.D. in U.S. history from Howard University and specializes in U.S. history and African American history. She previously taught at Texas Southern University in Houston, which is very different from GGC.
“We had these huge survey courses that were capped at 100 students. I was full-time, so I had four of those classes, and so I had close to 400 students total,” Dr. Metcalfe said.
Dr. Findlay is originally from Portland, Ore. and received his Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii where he lived and worked for five and a half years.
“I taught at a community college in California for a year. Then I taught at an online college for a year,” Dr. Findlay said.
Both professors are enjoying the atmosphere at GGC and appreciate the small class sizes which Dr. Metcalfe says has allowed “more flexibility.”