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Strong Stories: Allison Scardino Belzer, Ph.D.

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Education

A.B. - History & Italian - Vassar College

M.A. & Ph.D.- History - Emory University

Allison Scardino Belzer, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of History Teaching since 2003

Dr. Allison Belzer, a history professor who received the prestigious Brockmeier Faculty Award, is known for bringing history to life in the classroom.

Her students enjoy the fact that she goes beyond the textbook to make history accessible and relevant. “For me, one of the best ways to get students interested in history is to let them hear the voices of people who lived through the events we're studying,” she said. “Reading primary sources lets students witness history firsthand. We read novels, diaries and poems and look together at portraits and propaganda posters to understand what life was like in the past.”

Widely considered a rising star at Armstrong, Belzer has made significant contributions to the university since officially joining the faculty as a full-time assistant professor in 2009. The author of Women and the Great War: Femininity Under Fire in Italy and the editor of Documents in World History, this dedicated professor also serves as the College of Liberal Arts' Coordinator for Undergraduate Research and contributes to several faculty committees. In 2011, she directed Armstrong’s summer abroad program in Sienna, Italy.  

Belzer has a deep passion for history and particularly enjoys the fact that the field includes everything from art and science to philosophy and politics. She hopes the past helps students better understand the world they live in today.

“I want students to make connections between the past and the present and to realize that history lessons are not just stories about what happened long ago, but explanations about why the world is as it is today,” she said. “What ideas inspired people to create or dismantle governments? What motivated people to go to war?”

Belzer also strives to help Armstrong students become better thinkers, readers and writers. “Even though I'm teaching the same subject year after year, it's different each time because the students are different,” she said. “I love the mix of Armstrong students, with all different ages and different life experiences. I love hearing their ideas and having students learn from each other.”