Dr. John Hajduk came to Dillon in 1997 to teach American History. He’s been a part of some incredible changes over the past two decades, including the successful development and evolution of Experience One. In fact, he was one of four professors selected to teach the first pilot classes in a block format.
“My own undergraduate experience with the discipline involved listening to lectures, reading textbooks, then sitting for a test to see what I retained. While elements of this format are still present under Experience One, they are augmented by much more attention to the process of doing research and arriving at your own conclusions about past events and their significance. We are able to examine the full array of historical records, using traditional types of documents but also more diverse sources like photographs, museum artifacts, paintings, oral histories, and movies. Students also have the chance to present the work they do to the campus via poster displays in the library, student symposia, or via audio documentaries created for airing on the campus radio station.”
Dr. Hajduk’s specialty is American Cultural History, which informs all of the classes he teaches from General Education surveys through upper level seminars. “I truly believe that there have always been a great many ways for Americans to communicate their values and to promote their ideals and sense of shared identity. There’s something deeply satisfying in recognizing the continuities between past and present by watching an old movie from the Great Depression, or examining the details included in a 19th century painting depicting pioneers on the western frontier. You can do a lot of that kind of thing with our smaller class sizes, and a three-hour block of time each day to devote to that kind of discussion and analysis.”
In addition to his teaching duties, Dr. Hajduk also serves as the faculty adviser to the Associated Students of the University of Montana Western (ASUWM), and is the longtime host of “Dr. John’s Record Shelf” on the campus radio station, KDWG– tune in to 90.9 FM, Sundays at 5:00 pm.