I Am West Georgia
Colleen A. Vasconcellos
Years at UWG: Three. This is the start of my fourth.
My job title: Visiting Assistant Professor.
What I really do: I teach U.S. and World Surveys in addition to upper division courses on the Atlantic World, Slavery in the Caribbean and Abolitionism. I also research the 18th century Atlantic World, primarily slave childhood and the impact of the abolitionist movement on 18th century Jamaica.
Birthplace: Miami, Florida.
Family: My husband John Wilson, and my parents Chuck and Laurie Vasconcellos who currently reside in South Georgia. I also have an insane Jack Russell Terrier named Maggie.
People describe me as: Hmmmm…that I don’t know. Apparently my students think I kick ass according to the Excel Center. LOL. That quote seems to be popping up everywhere.
My favorite things to do: Travel, read and paint (although I never have time for it anymore).
My proudest accomplishment: Getting my Ph.D. Very few in my family even have a college education. Oh, and securing my first book contract with Rutgers University.
My passion: I don’t know if this counts as a passion, but going green is something that I’m really striving to do right now. I’ve recycled for years, but I’ve really tried to change how we live at home and what we waste and consume. It’s hard and some things we just can’t do, but I’m trying.
My pet peeve: People who interrupt. I absolutely hate it!!
I joined UWG because: They were hiring? Sounds flippant, but really, the job market is harsh right now and a Visiting Assistant Professorship opened up in our department and I applied. I’m glad I did, because I really love it here.
I stay because: I love it here. I really do. The department is wonderful and so supportive. My students are great. I’ve made some great friends here, and I can’t imagine being anywhere else.
The best advice I ever received: “Hang in there” ~Dad. It’s so true. You never know what door will be opened from sitting next to someone on a plane, or meeting someone at a conference. I met a former faculty member from this department on a flight to Seattle, and that’s how I learned of the opening here.
The best advice I’d give to new faculty and staff: Once drop/add is over, the insanity will become manageable. Everything will slow down and life will fall into place. Oh, and hang in there. LOL
When I was a child, I wanted to be: A teacher.
Most people don't know that: I’ve never had a Twinkie? I don’t know. Ummmm….I’ll have to think about that one.
My favorite quotation: “Well behaved women seldom make history,” Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.
The book I think everyone should read: Probably the last one that I just read! I really don’t read for pleasure anymore, that’s the sad thing about research.
The movie I think everyone should watch: That, I don’t know. I could watch Pride and Prejudice with Kiera Knightly and Matthew MacFayden over and over again, but it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I’m not sure one of those “This will change your life” movies exists, ya know?
My favorite memory: I don’t know if this counts, but the smell of garlic sautéing in a frying pan brings me back to my childhood instantly. Most people do that with cinnamon or chocolate chip cookies or a stuffed bear, but for me it is garlic. Reminds me of my dad cooking in the kitchen when I was a kid and me helping him (or getting under his feet).
The person (alive or dead) I’d most like to meet: I would love to meet Anne Boleyn. Her story fascinates me. And I would very much like to meet Alexander Hamilton…I’ve been working on a piece about him for some time and I have some questions I’d like to ask!
What I would most like to have if castaway on an island: Wi-fi, sunscreen and no forwarding address.
What I would do if I won the lottery: I’d pay off student loans, donate half to charity, buy my dad that jeep he wants, give mom an unlimited expense account in her favorite quilt shop, take my husband on a trip around the world and build my dream house on some excluded island that I’d just purchased.
What I most want to contribute to students: A love for history. Most of my students hate history, and they are convinced that it is going to be the most painful experience of their life. I’d like them to see that history can be fun and interesting, and that it is ok to like it!
Although you didn’t ask, I’d like to tell you anyway: Actually, I think I’m good. Thanks!
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