Publication Date

February 5, 2016

Perspectives Section

Member Spotlight, Perspectives Daily

AHA members are involved in all fields of history, with wide-ranging specializations, interests, and areas of employment. To recognize our talented and eclectic membership, AHA Today features a regular AHA Member Spotlight series.

Adrian_photoChristine Adrian is a middle school social studies teacher and building leader. She lives in Champaign, Illinois, and has been a member since 2013.

Alma maters: BS, University of Illinois; MEd, curriculum and instruction, University of Illinois; MEd, global studies in education, University of Illinois

Fields of interest: African American history

When did you first develop an interest in history?
I have always loved history; however, my work with the American History Teachers Collaborative with District 116 in Urbana, Illinois, a Teaching American History Grant Program, really fueled my passion for research and history instruction.

What projects are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a master’s in teaching American history from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in conjunction with Adams State University.

Have your interests evolved since graduation? If so, how?
I started out in elementary education with an emphasis on reading instruction and disabilities. However, as I started teaching and working with the American History Teachers Collaborative, I saw that my passion for social justice education could be best served through the teaching of history from a lens of the struggles of those who had to fight for equal treatment under the law.

Is there an article, book, movie, blog, etc. that you could recommend to fellow AHA members?
Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga by Pamela Newkirk

What do you value most about the history profession?
I love the excitement my students see when I show them the parts of history that are often ignored—the struggles and achievements of people who look like them. The study of our history, the way students can explore, question, and investigate to become knowledge creators is inspiring.

Why have you continued to be a member of the AHA?
I highly value the profession and the insights that are offered by professionals in the field.

Other than history, what are you passionate about?
I am highly invested in social justice, in helping students see past the struggles of their present to the possibilities that lay ahead of them. In order to be afforded justice, you need to be armed with the knowledge of your past. It is my great honor to work with students who seek that justice in their lives.


This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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