For well over a decade, Dr. Susanna Throop, associate professor and chair of the History Department, has simultaneously pursued excellence in both teaching and scholarship. These twin priorities ultimately influenced her decision to join the faculty at Ursinus College.
“I wanted to be at an institution where I was encouraged to care about my teaching and my students and where I was also supported in my work as a scholar, and Ursinus offered that. I really appreciated the egalitarian ethos of Ursinus and the school’s commitment to first-generation and Pell-eligible students.”
Throop is highly engaged with students, not only in her own classes, but also through her scholarly work. For example, Throop makes frequent use of the Research Assistants in the Humanities Program run out of the Dean’s Office. She explains, “For the last several years, I’ve been able to hire student research assistants to work with me on a variety of projects.”
Through her teaching and advising, Throop has observed hundreds of students transform themselves and their lives. She feels their combination of curiosity, ambition and courage is something that sets them apart from their peers at other institutions. “It takes a lot of courage and an equal amount of hard work to really step outside one’s comfort zone and grow beyond one’s old self, and yet our students do it, again and again,” she reflects.
Along with her dedication to her craft, Throop is leading fundraising efforts to raise $100,000 to establish the S. Ross Doughty ’68 Endowed Scholarship. The intent of the fund is to honor Ross Doughty, a recently retired long-time history professor, Ursinus alumnus and former department chair. The scholarship is aimed at helping students who are passionate about studying history and have faced financial challenges. As Throop explains, “Ross spent more than 50 years of his life at Ursinus—his story epitomizes the transformative power of an Ursinus education and this scholarship will support the students he cared so much about.”
On a personal level, Throop appreciates giving back to the Ursinus College community. “When I was a new faculty member, I learned that my senior colleagues in the History Department gave back to the college, specifically to support faculty development. For me, giving back to Ursinus is a way to pay my senior colleagues’ generosity forward,” she mentions.
Dr. Throop’s latest book, The Crusades: An Epitome, will be Open Access published on December 10; it will be available for preorder on Amazon soon and will be readable online once it is published.