Profile: Christopher Tucker

Current position: PhD student, Clark University, Department of History

If there is one recurring sentiment among prior students of Dr. Cooper, it is that you will never feel as accomplished as when you have completed her course. Yes, you will be challenged, that’s a given; but you will also be rewarded, and not just in an academic sense. Once you enter both Cooper and Reeder’s classrooms, you aren’t just a student, but rather an active member of an academic, intellectual, and personal community. You will enter an environment where discussion is encouraged, and lively debate is a key to success. Your opinions will be tried and tested, but never dismissed. Best of all, your instructors will always make time for you. Every student is a priority.

This community, active engagement, and personal pride have led me to where I am today. The sense of accomplishment I felt as a student of Dr. Cooper has greatly influenced my academic and personal confidence, as well as my sense of professionalism, both inside and out of the classroom. You will read a lot of books, and you will learn much about the history of this world and our nation, but you will also learn about yourself, and how you can be an active agent in your own future. One of the most vivid memories I have of being in Dr. Cooper’s classroom occurred my senior year of college in an American Intellectual History course. At the time, I was frantically preparing my graduate school applications, and on this day she told the class, “The majority of you will not end up in academic fields. But what you learn in this classroom will be of tremendous benefit to you regardless of where your careers take you.”

While I personally am working towards a career in academia, I have also held various employment positions in both education and business settings, and I can attest firsthand to the truth in Dr. Cooper’s statement. You may not expect the words of John Locke or Jean-Jacques Rousseau to be pertinent in a field such as early childhood education (where I have worked both part-and-full time over the past several years), but once you read their works (and so many others), the theories and lessons you digest will be unavoidable. They will greet you at every turn, and you will be grateful for it!

Often, as young people, we hear things such as, “You’ll never need to know that,” or, “When are you ever going to use that in your ‘real life’?” We hear it as children, as young adults, and even college students. What Dr. Cooper and Professor Reeder teach is that not only will you need to know, but you’ll be better for knowing. Whether you end up working in education, marketing, or embarking upon a career as a professional historian, the discussions and dialogues you participate in as a student of Cooper and Reeder will be some of the most challenging, and rewarding, experiences of your academic-and personal-life.