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Meet the faculty: A Q&A with new history professor Chelsea Berry

Chelsea Berry

Chelsea Berry

Randolph College’s 2019-20 academic year is officially underway, and several new faces have joined the faculty.

History professor Chelsea Berry is one of the new additions:

Where are you originally from and what is your career/educational background?

I grew up in the woods in the great state of Vermont. Since high school I’ve steadily been moving southward: first to college at Brown University in Providence, R.I., then to graduate school at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and now to Lynchburg. I’ve (mostly) adjusted to the heat with each southward move.

What attracted you to the job at Randolph?

The students—more specifically, the chance to work closely with students in a small liberal arts college setting. I was attracted by Randolph’s commitment to enriching each student’s education and the opportunity—thanks to Randolph’s size—to really get to know everyone in my classes.

What classes are you teaching this fall?

I’m teaching three classes this fall: Modern Europe to 1750, Atlantic World, and a seminar called Atlantic Africa/African Atlantic.

Describe your teaching style. What can students expect in your classes?

Expect lots of questions! My teaching style is highly interactive. My goal in lecture is to pull students in to our exploration of the week. I know I’ve succeeded when students are so engaged that they start asking questions of their own.

What are your initial impressions of Randolph and its students?

My students have been curious, gregarious, and game to wrestle with questions in class, and my colleagues in the faculty have been very generous in helping me find my feet. I couldn’t have landed in a better place!

What sorts of hobbies or fun activities do you enjoy outside the classroom?

Despite my time in the city, I still feel the outdoors calling to me. I love to hike. Whenever I’m abroad on research, I look for trails as potential adventures (I’ve hiked Montaigne Sainte Victoire, near the French colonial archives in Aix-en-Provence, five times now). Hiking has also fed my interest in amateur photography; my office is festooned with hiking and other travel photos from New Zealand to Scotland to Brazil.

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Engaging, interactive classes are a hallmark of a Randolph College education and it all starts with our professors. Learn more about…



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