The Community College Conference


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The Organization of American Historians is pleased to announce its sixth annual community college workshop to be held June 14–16, 2012, at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, Illinois. The conference offers community college historians an excellent opportunity for professional development, networking, and an enjoyable break in the bustling capital of Illinois. Attendees will also have a chance to immerse themselves in the city where Abraham Lincoln began his professional career as an attorney and politician.

Focused Learning, Engaging Presentations

The 2012 OAH Community College Conference will feature panels tailored to meet the specific needs and challenges of community college historians. The conference, held over three days, revolves around plenary-style panels and small group sessions focused on subjects related to teaching American history.

“Speakers give presentations that include thematic approaches and suggest topics and sources not always familiar to community college instructors who are overwhelmed with teaching responsibilities,” said Doris Dwyer, professor of history at Western Nevada College and OAH Executive Board member.

Conference presenters are master teachers, community college professors, prominent research historians, and local public history experts.

“The OAH works very hard to ensure that the topics covered are timely and appropriate to the educator’s classroom,” said Mark Roehrs, professor of history at Lincoln Land Community College. “The speakers are experts in their fields and engaging presenters, and the field experiences are high quality, educational, and entertaining.”

While immersed in sessions and events, attendees will have an opportunity to network with a unique mix their peers. Networking is essential to building collegiality, assimilating lessons learned, and setting the stage for follow-up activities.

“Networking is one of the greatest benefits of attending the conference,” said Katherine Finley, executive director of the OAH. “Participants can share and receive feedback on their research, talk about professional issues and concerns, and meet old friends and colleagues.”

A Land Rich in History

The conference also includes a day in the community with visits to National Park Service sites, Illinois State Historical sites, and the state-of-the-art Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

“Illinois is at the heart of America, and Springfield is at the heart of Illinois,” said Roehrs.

Springfield is best known for being the home of one of the most beloved figures in history. Visitors from around the world come to Springfield to experience the Lincoln tradition.

Along with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, famous local attractions also include the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Lincoln’s law office, and tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery. The historic Old State Capitol—where Lincoln spoke the words, “A house divided against itself cannot stand” —is a popular spot for learning about the Civil War. In commemoration of the sesquicentennial anniversary of the war, an original flag carried during several Civil War campaigns by a regiment from northern Illinois will be on display at the Old State Capitol.

Save the Date

“There are few professional conferences that focus on the basic issues faced by American history instructors at community colleges,” said Dwyer. “This workshop promised to be the best opportunity out there.”

We hope to see you in Springfield!