Dr. William Cohen, professor of history
at Hope College, has been named recipient of the college's
"Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching."
The award was announced during the college's
annual Faculty Recognition Luncheon, held on Monday, Jan. 8.
Cohen has been a member of the Hope faculty since
1971. He has served two terms as chair of the department of
In an interview for a feature in the college's
"Catalog," he explained that he values the opportunity to
teach his discipline not only for its own sake, but for the
broader skills that studying history builds. "I teach
history because it's a way of teaching students how to think
critically; how to ask questions; how to challenge the world
they live in," he said.
In addition to his teaching, he also advises Hope
students interested in applying for prestigious, highly-
competitive Marshall and Rhodes scholarships for graduate
study. Under his guidance, three Hope students have
received the awards since 1990.
Cohen's scholarship has included the topics of
slavery and post-Civil War black mobility. In 1993, he
received the Southern Historical Association's Francis
Butler Simkins Award for his book "At Freedom's Edge: Black
Mobility and the Southern White Quest for Racial Control,
1861-1915." He has also written numerous articles and book
reviews for scholarly publications, and has made a number of
presentations at professional meetings.
Prior to coming to Hope, he was a research
associate with the Center for Urban Studies at the
University of Chicago for three years. He had also been a
lecturer in history at Hunter College of the City University
of New York.
Cohen holds his bachelor's degree from Brooklyn
College, his master's from Columbia University and his
doctorate from New York University.