George S. Vascik


Photo of Dr. George S. Vascik

My primary academic responsibility is teaching. Miami University Hamilton, which has been my professional home since August 1992, is an open admission campus of Miami of Ohio, a "public Ivy". In Fall 2009, our campus enrolled over 4200 students. Many of our students are first generation and/or non-traditional; most work and have family obligations. Teaching on an open admission campus presents unique, albeit rewarding, teaching challenges. One way that I am currently attempting to meet these challenges is with new teaching technologies, including hybrid format course and totally web-based formats. Another way that I am trying to meet my students' needs is through exacting assessment of how well students meet my learning goals for each class meeting. I am fortunate in this regard to be part of a community of scholars committed to teaching. One of the unique aspects of teaching at Miami is our use of Learning Communities that enable instructors expand their repertoire of teaching skills. I have participated in twelve such communities, as well as two Learning Technology Summer Institutes.

Current teaching

My current teaching rotation consists of three survey courses (Western Civilization to 1500, World Civilizations to 1550, and Western Civilization since 1500), the history methods course Introduction to Historical Inquiry), and a sequence of advanced classes (Industry and Empire: Europe 1850-1914; Age of Dictators: Europe 1914-1945; and The Rise of Fall of Hitler: Germany 1914-1945). I have recently designed courses on The Great War and the End of European Global Dominance and Hitler's War: The Second World War in Europe. (See below for a tentative list of when these courses will be offered.)

I have conducted three spring abroad Study Abroad workshops - Vienna and Munich: Cradles of Fascism and Vienna: Cradle of Modernity, and Berlin and the Topography of Terror – in conjunction with my advanced classes. Summer 2009, I offered Age of Dictators on Miami University's Luxembourg campus.

Courses previously taught

I have taught the following undergraduate courses, but they are not currently in my regular rotation: The Age of Revolutions: Europe 1750-1850, The Reconstruction of Europe since 1945, The Historical Foundations of the Social Sciences, The Age of Bismarck: Germany 1870-1914, and The Nuremberg Trials and their Legacy. I have also designed and taught two honors seminars: Fin de sicle Paris and Vienna, and War and Society in Twentieth Century Europe. On the Oxford campus, I have in the past have offered graduate readings courses in German History, the Origins of the First World War, and 19th Century Europe, as well as a graduate colloquium on the Industrial Revolution. Over the years I have had the privilege of directing numerous departmental honors theses.

Independent study opportunities

Independent studies topics that students have pursued with me have included: Imperial Germany, Nazi Germany, the Origins of the First World War, Anti-Semitism in Imperial Germany, Social and Cultural Aspects of the Industrial Revolution, and German Industrialization. Students who wish to pursue an independent study with me should prepare a proposal that includes a description of the question to be studied, a set of readings, and a realistic timetable for completion. Preference will be given to students who have taken one of my courses.

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