4/20/2014 11:55:17 AM

History Majors Provide Rave Reviews

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

By Mike Clemens '15

The Noon Book Review at the Sanford Library in Colonie, New York provides a venue where local experts and members of the community can discuss and discover new books together. In the past, a number of Siena faculty members have participated in the program. Last week, Siena College history students made history themselves by becoming the Noon Book Review's first student guest speakers.

Students in Jennifer Dorsey, Ph.D.’s New York State History class were invited by representatives of the Sanford Library to share some of what they have learned this semester with the broader community. The majority of Dorsey’s students are history-education majors who aspire to careers as K-12 teachers.

“This program is really a service to the community,” said Dorsey. “It is designed to encourage people to try new and different books and I wanted my students, especially those who consider themselves to be educators, to see that they could contribute to the education of the community right now.”

In preparation for the book review each student chose to read a book about some aspect of the history of New Yorks state. From this large body of work, the students selected five books to formally recommend to the community.

“It’s great to be able to talk about something you have worked on,” said Anthony Piro ’15. “We all have a unique perspective on the book we studied and to be able to share that perspective with others is a great opportunity.”

Many of the students view their participation in the Noon Book Review as an important step in their preparation for careers as history educators.

“I am going to be a teacher so this is a great experience for me,” said Michael Asselin ’15. “We have studied New York state history extensively this semester and it’s great to be able to give this presentation.”

Ultimately, Dorsey says her class’ collaboration with the Sanford Library is about shared education and about helping her students realize the many forms that history education can take.

“I hope that this experience will help my students to see history education in a broader light,” Dorsey said. “It isn’t just something that happens inside the classroom; it happens in museum settings and in libraries. I want them to know that the skills they have are not limited to a K-12 classroom.”

After the presentations the students mingled with audience members, talking and answering questions about their individual books and career goals.

“I enjoyed this experience in part because of the audience,” said Alyssa Treanor ’15. “Many of the people here today are not students, they’re community members and a lot of them know a great deal about these topics. They are teaching us as much as we are teaching them, and that’s a great feeling.”

Contact: Ken Jubie
Contact E-mail: communications@siena.edu

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