David Sytsma was already on the faculty at Rockford University when he received his Ph.D. from Northern Illinois University in 1985. His areas of concentration were in modern European history, Russian history and British history. His primary interests are in the history of ideas which is reflected in his undergraduate philosophy major and graduate work in that field. He received his B.A. in 1971 and M.A. in history in 1979 from Northern Illinois University.
A small university and a small department demands a generalist, and Dr. Sytsma has taught almost twenty different courses at Rockford University. This diversity of background helps, he believes, to tie things together in ways that make sense for students. Currently he teaches all four sections of the Western Civilization sequence and upper level courses in British, Russian, German and Japanese history.
Dr. Sytsma has chaired the Academic Standards Committee and the Curriculum Committee and has served on a wide range of other faculty committees. He organized the Rockford University chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the history honors society. He has been chairman of the history department since 1998.
In addition to teaching, Dr. Sytsma worked for many years in bookselling and loves to read across a broad range of subjects and genres. He has traveled fairly widely, especially in Europe. He is married to a philosopher and has three daughters—an art historian, an M.D., and an artist.
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