Schoen will help improve the humanities in the new professorship at the Ping Institute


Dr. Brian Nice brings his expertise in humanities teaching and community connection to his new role as James Richard Hamilton / Baker and Hostetler Professor of of Charles J. Ping Institute for Humanities Teaching.

The Ohio University Board of Trustees made the appointment at its June 18 meeting.

“The mission of the Ping Institute has never been more important than in this time of remarkable technological changes, broken politics and a heightened social awareness of current challenges and injustices of the past,” said Schoen, associate professor and chairman of the history at OHIO. “We need organizations and initiatives that are able to promote our common humanity, even if we recognize and celebrate our differences. I look forward to working with the other Ping faculties and fellows to serve our community. “

The Ping Institute develops initiatives to support humanities teaching at the university and in the region. It promotes the humanities as essential disciplines for learning human society and culture, understanding complex ideas and human experiences, developing analytical skills and civic debates, appreciating diversity and different perspectives, and teaching leadership, critical thinking and effective thinking to communication.

As part of its commitment to helping humanities scholars in high schools in the state of Ohio, the Ping Institute recently developed several new initiatives that connect the humanities to current events:

The Ping Institute was founded by the Board of Trustees in 1992 and is funded by a foundation established by Friends of the University, the University’s Curators, and the Ohio University Foundation’s Curators, who collectively make more than a three-on-one Challenge Scholarship from the National Foundation for humanities. The institute has three named teaching professorships, and Schön joins them Dr. Fred Drogula, the Charles J. Ping Professor of Humanities and Professor of Classics, and Dr. Linda Reis, the James S. Reid / Standard Products Company Professor of Humanities and Professor of English, in leading the Institute and its activities. It succeeds nicely Dr. William F. Condee, Professor of interdisciplinary art who retired from OHIO in December 2020.

Support from high school teachers

“The Ping Institute is honored to receive applications from a truly exceptional list of outstanding OHIO faculties. Within this group, Professor Schoen distinguished himself by bringing the special experience and skills the institute needs to advance its mission of supporting humanities teaching, ”said Drogula, helping us with teachers of social sciences in secondary schools Connecting across Ohio will expand our efforts to promote the humanities in the area and help us explore new opportunities with the digital humanities. We are excited that Professor Schoen is joining us to promote and support the humanities at the university, in the local community and in Ohio. “

“I am honored, humbled, and delighted to be called to this position made possible by the vision of President Ping, former director of the institute, and donors who recognized the humanities’ central contribution to higher education and society,” said Schoen.

Schoen joined Ohio University in 2006 and was made an associate professor in 2011. In his department he was director for bachelor programs, director of the Online Masters in Social Sciences, deputy head of department and now head of department. He also holds a variety of college and university-wide positions.

Nice’s. is a scholar on 19th-century U.S. history first book, The Fragile Fabric of the Union: Cotton, Federal Politics, and the Global Origins of the Civil War won the 2010 Bennett H. Wall Book Prize of the Southern Historical Association for the best book in Southern Economic and Economic History over a period of two years. He has many articles and book chapters, including the last one in American political thinking and The Cambridge History of the American Civil War. He is co-editor of two edited volumes and produces two further and a second monograph on the crisis of secession as individual authorship.

Promotion of the digital humanities

“The most important factor in this search is Brian’s many teaching achievements, as promoting good teaching is the institute’s primary goal,” notes Drogula. “Brian’s teaching achievements are numerous and impressive.”

He teaches a wide variety of courses, including review courses in the history of the United States and Capitalism and Its Critics: An Intellectual History, and major league courses on the Early Republic, the Civil War, and the American South and Slavery.

He was recognized for excellent teaching by his chair and dean in 2010, received the Dean’s Outstanding Faculty Undergraduate Advising Award in 2013, was a finalist of the University Professor Award in Teaching 2019-2020, and won a Jeanette G. Grasselli Brown Outstanding Teaching Award 2019-20.

Schoen has also been involved in teaching initiatives at OHIO, including Think History 2, a partner program with the Perry Hocking Education Service Center, the Ohio History Connection, and the university. Here and in his previous tenure at California State University in Sacramento, he has given approximately 36 content lectures to K-12 social studies teachers to help them develop their knowledge and skills. He is currently also leading a study community for university faculties to develop understanding and use of the digital humanities.

“Digital humanities are an important part of the future of the humanities and an area that the Ping Institute is very interested in, so we see Brian as a particularly valuable resource that brings the specific knowledge and experience we want,” added Drogula.

“Schoen also works closely with several Ohio groups that promote excellence in high school teaching, which makes him a tremendous asset to the Ping Institute as supporting high school teachers in Ohio is one of our primary goals “said Drogula.

In addition to working with the Ohio History Connection, Schoen also worked with the Southeast Ohio History Center, Dr. Nancy Stevens and the OHIO Museum Complex teamed up to create the Athens Black History Tour Athens, and is a member of the local Civil War Roundtable and a regular speaker at other civil society organizations such as the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution, O’Bleness Hospital Senior Bears, and local and state historical societies. Schoen initiated and organized together with Dr. Tim Anderson last spring the Ohio Settlement Conference, in collaboration with WOUB, the Southeast Ohio Settlement Conference and several campus partners.

“The Ping Institute is developing several new teaching initiatives that require outside grants to provide financial assistance. The committee recognized Brian’s extensive experience in this endeavor. The Think History program was the result of a US Department of Education grant of $ 1 million and his work with the Ohio Historical Society resulted in two National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture grants, one for faculty at community colleges and one for teachers, “said Drogula. “He has also received grants from the Central Region Humanities Center such as the 1804 Fund, the Baker Fund, an NEH Summer Research Grant, and a Fulbright Award. With this experience, we have no doubt that Brian can help the Ping Institute Receive important grants that support new humanities teaching initiatives in the university, in our community, and among Ohio high school teachers. “


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