Monday, December 03, 2007

After 40 Years, Johanna Shields Teaches her Final Class

Professor Johanna Shields, who came to UAH in 1967, taught her last class this fall. She retired some years ago but helped the department by continuing to teach a couple classes on the Old South. She said she enjoyed teaching but missed seeing student development from their first year to their senior seminar and participating in the evolution of the department. Johanna reflected on the major changes she witnessed on campus over her career. She recalled that in 1967 a single room in Morton Hall housed the library. Now, Johanna expressed excitement at the incredible access to on-line resources and information. With all the data, students have so many more research opportunities, but have to learn "the illusory character of knowledge on-line" and investigate beyond the false completeness yielded by search engines. Looking back on her career, Johanna expressed satisfaction about several accomplishments. She was proud of her efforts to help found the Humanities Center, which provides funding for humanities research and programs. But most of all, Johanna expressed pride for "teaching good people" through all her years. The department will miss Dr. Shields as a colleague in learning and wishes her the best in a well-deserved retirement.

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