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History Student Spotlight

Josh Reed '24

  • Major(s) : History, Computer Science
  • Minor: Classics
  • Hometown: Atlanta, Illinois
  • Recommended Courses: Ancient Rome/Ancient Greece (Dr. Coles), The Gilded Age (Dr. Schultz) Male student wearing a backpack and smiling next to a hikinig trail
  • On-campus involvement : Work at the Titan Bookstore, TA for Computer Science, featured student on The College Tour, Digital Humanities Fellow (2022), John Wesley Powell Research Conference presenter
  • Off-campus involvement : Software development intern for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Construction Engineering and Research Lab (CERL). Worked at the Bloomington Public Library as a student worker for technical services and the children's department.

    "History is about more than just dates and old things - it's about understanding where we came from, where we're going, and why it matters. More than that, it's about hearing voices that might otherwise be lost, or that were lost for centuries; overturning old narratives and seeking the truth by listening to the stories that no one else cared about. IWU's History department and faculty fight for that, and with their help, I've been able to learn stories and pasts that I didn't know existed, and overturn biases I didn't know I had. Studying history doesn't just uncover the past - it reveals things about who you are, and who you can be."

Lillian Winkeler '24

  • Major(s) : History; Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies  Female college student sitting on a patio chair and smiling
  • Hometown: Danvers , Illinois
  • Recommended Courses: Asia's Revolutions (Dr. Chambers); Intersectionality (Dr. Staros); Women, Work, & Leisure 1890-1930 (Dr. Schultz)
  • On-campus involvement : Kappa Delta sorority, Recruitment Counselor 2023, Cypher Dance Team, Phi Alpha Theta (History Honor Society), Tri-Iota (WGSS Honor Society)
  • Off-campus involvement : Work at Clothes Mentor

    "The History program at Illinois Wesleyan University has allowed me to explore what I am truly passionate about. I have found a love for learning about women's history and queer history. With the ability to choose classes that I enjoy and get close to classmates and professors in our small campus community, I have been able to thrive as a student and history major on campus. I had the opportunity to do an independent study and am currently working on my Honors Research Project. I am grateful for the History program to be flexible and allow me to study what I am interested in and explore what it means to be a historian."

 Rowan Danou '25

Male college student wearing sunglasses and smiling in front of a mountain view at sunset
  • Major(s) : History, Political Science (Pre-Law) 
  • Hometown: Williams Bay, Wisconsin
  • On-campus involvement : Philosophy Club Vice President, Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honor Society), Titan Band trombone player, Peace Garden beekeeper

    “All of the wonderful History professors here at Illinois Wesleyan have helped me appreciate the nuances and importance of history. Being able to research and write on whatever interests me in history gives me the freedom to discover what I enjoy most in the field. I feel very confident about my future thanks to that.”



Sidney Draksler '27

  • Major(s) : HistoryFemale student wearing sunglasses standing in front of a river
  • Minor(s) : Advocacy
  • Hometown: East Peoria, Illinois
  • Recommended Courses: Museums: Making History Come Alive (Dr. Springwood)
  • On-campus involvement: CLA History Student Assistant, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Combo, Titan Pep Band

    “This program has already made a large impact on my academic journey. I have always had an interest in studying the history of societies, traditions, and relationships between people. IWU has only served to strengthen this passion. The program encourages students to not only analyze historical artifacts and documents, but also to examine them in a larger context, making them relevant in the here and now. I am excited to see what my next three years at this university have to bring! ”

April Schultz - Chair and Professor of History

Department - History