The Class that Made a Difference: American History Since 1865 (Dr. Bob Stinson)

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William J. Reynolds. Photo courtesy of

William J. Reynolds graduated from Moravian College in 2003, majoring in political science with a minor in history. He is currently a member of Bethlehem’s City Council and teaches advanced placement psychology and world history at William Allen High School.

Before I get into the class I chose, I want to acknowledge Dr. Theresa Dougal and Dr. Joyce Hinnefeld. I’ve known both of them for a long time; they are two of my people and I’m glad they’re still a part of Moravian. I got into politics after I graduated, so my intersections with them have not just been Moravian related but politically related as well, which is consistent with the courses they taught and continue to teach.

I took History 114 B with Dr. Bob Stinson my freshman year, which I believe at the time was American History since 1865. The class did a lot for me in that it taught me how to take into account people’s perspectives that were not my own, including in history, as far as how one historical event affects different people and different groups of people.

Dr. Stinson did a lot of teaching. I’m not sure if it was directly about empathy, but it was kind of the idea that in order to understand history and historical events you need to look at them from multiple perspectives and multiple points of view.

The class was pretty focused on writing; the ways we write, the ways we set up our arguments or our points, and also the ways in which we anticipate what we think someone is going to say might disagree with us. I’ve taken all of those lessons into my life and into my professional life and they’ve all been very valuable.

As told to and edited by Annie McCarthy.