AHA Member Spotlight: Steve Haller
Steve Haller is a high school history teacher at Xavier High School and a college adjunct associate professor. He lives in Glendale, New York, and has been a member since 2009.
Alma maters: BA, St. Joseph's University, 2009; MA, St. John's University, 2011; PhD, St. John's University, 2017
Fields of interest: Scottish Enlightenment, intellectual studies, early American Republic
Describe your career path. What led you to where you are today?
My love of history began in elementary school, and continued throughout my schooling. In grad school I began teaching junior high then high school and loved the discovery that students experienced with new topics. I taught classes at night at local universities, and spent days at Xavier High School.
What do you like the most about where you live and work?
My community is tight knit. The parents sit outside while the kids play. I work at a place that has helped me continue to grow, allowing me to take courses that interest me, and give me ways to teach different subjects in my classes. My students are diverse and intellectually motivated, which makes each day exciting.
What projects are you currently working on?
Currently, I am writing an article on the long history of civic or citizen education. My focus is looking back at the founding of the early Republic to the mid-19th century. This is growing out of my dissertation, and other interests recently.
Have your interests evolved since graduation? If so, how?
My focus has become more about education as I spend more time in high school teaching. I have also been working on incorporating new aspects of research into my curriculum and developing resources students can use.
Is there an article, book, movie, blog etc. that you could recommend to fellow AHA members?
I run a whiskey blog, which I have really enjoyed. I try unique and rare whiskies from around the world. I thoroughly enjoyed Reid Mitenbuler's Bourbon Empire. It is a fascinating look at the history of bourbon in the United States. It combines my two passions: history and whiskey.
What do you value most about the history discipline?
A shared passion for our field and the diversity. History is such a broad and unique subject: intellectual, economic, social, geographical, etc., etc. The subject has so much to offer to everyone and we can all sit in the same room, look at topics, and have differing perspectives. As a student, I was always drawn to the diversity of history. I could look at the roots of an intellectual movement one semester, then study the quantitative data for shipping of commodities, then round it out with a cultural study of a region.
Why is membership in the AHA important to you?
Supporting an organization that is fighting for a passion of mine has been great. I think history and knowledge in general are under attack. The AHA is trying to correct that.
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, Perspectives Daily features a regular AHA Member Spotlight series.
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