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03 Apr 2013

rebecca-abshireby Mike Cullity

In a little more than a year as an adjunct history instructor for SNHU’s College of Online and Continuing Education, Rebecca Abshire has earned a reputation for going above and beyond to help her students.

A Chicago-area resident, Abshire works full time for an educational publisher but prides herself on being responsive to students.

“I always have my email open,” she says. “They aren’t waiting for 24 or 48 hours to get a response from me.”

While offering timely guidance, Abshire also strives to foster students’ growth with her responses to their written work.

“I like to give feedback on their papers, not just on whether or not they hit the historical elements, but also writing style, grammar – things that are going to help them in all of their other classes,” she says.

An American history scholar who teaches undergraduate and graduate courses, Abshire helped design COCE’s graduate historical methods course, which arms students with the skills they need to be a historian. A one-time business major who discovered her love of history as an undergraduate, she seeks to pass along that passion.

“I really like giving students who think they hate history a reason to change their minds,” she says. “It’s not just memorization of names and dates. It’s more about solving a mystery of why something happened and what that led to.”

A classroom instructor while earning her Ph.D. in history at Ohio State University, Abshire has become a believer in elearning’s virtues since joining the COCE faculty.

“I was pretty leery of online education when I was in graduate school,” she says. “My eyes were completely opened when I came here. I would say students do more work in an online course at SNHU than my students would do in a brick-and-mortar situation. I’m really impressed with the way SNHU does their online courses.”