Past and current members of the History Department celebrate New Year's Eve together. Pictured clockwise: Joe Laker, Walt Renn, John Cox, Dan Weimer, Dave Kilroy, Leslie Liedel, Rose Gatens
Class of 1970
Kathleen is the principal of Berry Middle School in Hoover, Alabama. As a principal, Kathleen values the liberal arts as a vital part of our changing world that is oriented towards science and technology. Majoring in history taught Kathleen to question and to think about the various sides of an issue which has assisted her as a principal in finding solutions to a host of challenging problems.
As a student at Wheeling Jesuit, Kathleen was most appreciative of the attention she received from her professors in the History Department. One on one interaction in the classroom and during office hours was one aspect of this interaction, but detailed analysis of her research projects, exams, and oral presentations is what stands out to Kathleen. Her teachers at WJU assisted her in becoming a more careful and lucid writer. Kathleen obtained advanced degrees from larger universities but she never encountered the exceptional teaching she was exposed to at WJU.
Class of 1995
Long before her arrival at WJU, Jennifer Petrella knew she wanted to pursue a career in law. Committing herself to an undergraduate major was really secondary to her ultimate goal. Jennifer quickly learned that majoring in history would prepare her for a future in law. Not only did majoring in history help Jennifer develop her reserach and writing skills, it sharpened her reading skills and her ability to absorb facts. Law school was an extension of these skills.
Jennifer has fond memories of her experiece at WJU and appreciates the valuable education she gained. According to Jennifer, critical thinking skills were by far the most valuable asset of her Jesuit education. History professors challenged Jennifer to question what was written in her texts and to investigate and develop new theories of why events unfolded as they did. After providing information and and the tools to research and discover more, the history faculty expected Jennifer to speak and write eloquently in a clear and concise manner. The expectation was not only to pursue and gain knowledge, but to further develop the theories and share them with others.
Her current position as Chief Deputy Clerk for the Montgomery Juvenile Court in Dayton, Ohio, requires Jennifer to work closely with numerous departments throughout the court system in development of local rules and internal procedures for operating the court efficiently and effectively.
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