This week, for Faculty Friday, we are sitting down with a member of the history department, Eugene Cassidy.
What is your favorite tradition at Porter’s? Welcome Tradition. Without giving too much away, it is simply beautiful.
What excites you most about teaching at Porter’s? I get to spend my day engaging a room full of self-motivated and curious students about history. The questions, observations, and connections I hear from my students often leave me thinking differently about the topics I teach. I cannot think of a more enjoyable way to spend my days!
How would you describe the Porter’s community? We expect a lot of one another, but we care for each other deeply as well. We share a deep connection that is often unspoken, but you can hear it in the greetings by name as you cross campus, or see it in the smiles exchanged in hallways. We share our joys and sorrows together, and help one another be our best selves. This is not always easy or comfortable, but in the end, we know all our efforts, from the classrooms to the fields and courts, are driven by love. I could not be happier to raise my daughters in such a community.
Where does your passion for teaching come from? I have loved history since before I could read; I would sit and look at the pictures in my dad’s old history textbooks when I was 4 (true story!). Thinking about the past brings me so much joy, makes me feel like I am part of something eternal. Sharing that joy with students is the only way I could live my life and be happy, and when I see that moment of dawning comprehension on a student’s face, of unseen connection coming into focus, I feel like I am sharing the greatest gift I have with the world. Teaching lets me “leave a little heaven behind,” to quote Cornel West.
What’s your favorite food in the dining hall? Their soup game is so tight, but of them all, the New England clam chowder is king. Or maybe the seafood bisque…
Dr. Cassidy holds a bachelor’s degree in history from New College of Florida and a doctorate in history from the University of Michigan. He lives on campus with his wife Sara, who is a scientist and writer, and their daughters, Rosemarie and Maddie. Dr. Cassidy also serves as a student advisor, volleyball coach, and the advisor to Porter’s Diplomacy.