Dr. René Harder Horst
Professor of history
Department of History
I.G. Greer Distinguished Professor of History
Appalachian State University, Department of History
“His dedication to students and to his field of research are evidenced by the number of courses he has taught and by his tendency to be the first to volunteer anytime his field crosses into activities in which students are involved.”
Dr. James Goff, Department of History chair
BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian’s State University’s Department of History has named Dr. René Harder Horst the successor for the I.G. Greer Distinguished Professorship.
This award, which Horst received in fall 2018, honors excellence in teaching and can be used to further research, professional development and education. By maintaining this professorship, the history department can retain and develop better faculty to teach Appalachian’s students.
Horst has assumed the honor from Dr. Jari Eloranta and will hold the position for three years, during which time he will receive a semester of Off-Campus Scholarly Assignment (OCSA) and a research stipend to pursue his work on two book projects:
- A collaborative book with Dr. Anatoly Isaenko, Appalachian professor of history, for Rowman and Littlefield Publishing. The book is about John Belaieff — the white Russian general whose exile helped direct Paraguay’s victory over Bolivia in the Chaco War (1932–35).
- A monograph on indigenous experiences in Paraguay following the end of the Stroessner regime in 1989.
“His dedication to students and to his field of research are evidenced by the number of courses he has taught and by his tendency to be the first to volunteer anytime his field crosses into activities in which students are involved,” said Dr. James Goff, chair of Appalachian’s Department of History.
Horst earned a B.A. in history and music at Goshen College in Indiana in 1989 and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Indiana University in Latin American history in 1998. He taught Latin American history at Kalamazoo College in Michigan and Bates College in Maine before coming to Appalachian in 2000. His academic pursuits include Latin American history, Native American history and religious studies.
The Department of History in the College of Arts and Sciences at Appalachian houses the I.G. Greer Professorship. Unlike most professorships, this award, which was first presented in 1977, is not granted to one faculty member for the entirety of their tenure but alternates every three years.
Students from the Class of 1916 established the I.G. Greer Distinguished Professorship Fund in 1966 as a memorial to their “teacher, counselor and friend,” Dr. Isaac “Ike” Garfield Greer. Greer was a native of Zionville and taught history and government at Appalachian from 1910–32.
In 1932, Greer left the university to pursue full-time work as the general superintendent of the Baptist Orphanage in Thomasville. In addition to being a renowned folklorist, he served as the first president of the Allied Church League and was president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, the Southern Appalachian Historical Association and the North Carolina Folklore Society. He was also a member of the North Carolina General Assembly.
About the Department of History
The Department of History offers a broad curriculum in local, national, regional and world history at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, which encourages history majors to develop a comprehensive approach to human problems. The study of history is an essential part of a liberal arts education and offers valuable preparation for many careers, such as law, journalism, public history, public service and business, as well as in teaching and the advanced discipline of history. Learn more at https://history.appstate.edu.
About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 16 academic departments, one stand-alone academic program, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. The college’s values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of its students as global citizens. There are approximately 6,100 student majors in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing Appalachian's general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at https://cas.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 20,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.
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