Members of St. Lawrence University’s Class of 2022 nominated and selected Charles A. Dana Professor of History Liz Regosin to receive the 2022 Owen D. Young Outstanding Faculty Award.
A staple of St. Lawrence’s liberal arts education is the lifelong mentorship provided by expert faculty across disciplines. The award recognizes a member of the teaching faculty for their dedication and commitment to the education and growth of students both in and out of the classroom, who then delivers the Last Lecture to the graduating class.
“This was my 25th year at SLU and it was such a treat to celebrate that milestone with the honor of delivering the Last Lecture to the Class of 2022,” Regosin said. “I loved having the opportunity to send them off with a few words of advice and encouragement."
As part of the award nomination process, members of the graduating class shared that Regosin is a “wonderful professor who deeply cares about her student's success both in and out of the classroom,” and “goes out of her way to help students and make us feel intelligent and competent,” and “cares about the student as a human.”
During the final lecture in May, Regosin shared a photo from her own college experience and reflected on how technology has evolved from typewriters and pay phones to online platforms and social media networks.
“This gal, graduating from Berkeley in 1989, wouldn’t recognize the challenges you face in the age of the internet and social media,” Regosin said. “The technological and social landscape you need to navigate is complex: an excess of information, disinformation, polarization, hate-mongering… your challenges are overwhelming.”
As a passionate historian who “rails against the evils of social media,” and the loss of in-person connections, Regosin shared how the 19th century had a social influencer of its own in Frederick Douglass, who used the technology of his time to create positive change, and she encouraged the Class of 2022 to do the same.
“If nothing else, when you’re looking for a beacon, someone to guide you, be discerning in your choice. Admire someone who is worthy of you and whose purpose is to do good for humanity and not just for themselves or some select few,” Regosin said, encouraging the class to use tools of the modern era to fight for a better world. “It’s exhausting, but you must be resilient, and you must fight. You must never forget that one person can make a difference. Bring the fire. Bring the thunder. Bring the storm. Bring the whirlwind. Bring the earthquake. I have great faith in you.”
Regosin joined the St. Lawrence community in the fall of 1997. A product of the University of California, she earned a B.A. at Berkeley and an M.A. and Ph.D. at Irvine, where her interactions with dynamic professors in American history and African American literature sparked her interest to study African American history. Her work has focused on African Americans in the transition from slavery to freedom, publishing two books, “Freedom's Promise: Ex-Slave Families and Citizenship in the Age of Emancipation” and “Voices of Emancipation: Understanding Slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction through the U.S. Pension Bureau Files” (with Donald R. Shaffer).
At St. Lawrence, Regosin teaches courses in American history, African American history, and American Women's history, and teaches in St. Lawrence’s First-Year Program.