The face of a fellow

Andrei currently teaches GHS and TI courses at Butler. Photo courtesy of IU Department of History. 



In an effort to pursue his love of history and interest in education, George Andrei began teaching classes at Butler University through the Future Faculty Teaching Fellows program at Indiana University. 

As a part of the Department of History, Anthropology and Classics, Andrei has gained experience in teaching a variety of courses, including a Global and Historical Studies course “Modernizing and Contemporary Europe” and a Texts and Ideas course “Themes in European History.” 

Andrei originally received his bachelor’s degrees from The Ohio State University in history and Russian, before coming to Indiana to pursue higher education in history. 

“I came to IU Bloomington to start work on my Ph.D.,” Andrei said. “It’s an integrated program, so you do [both] the master’s part and Ph.D. part. I [went] to IU in 2018, and [will finish] my [Ph.D.] in 2024.” 

Through the fellowship program, Andrei is working toward his Ph.D. in European history while also gaining valuable teaching experience, such as planning for courses and having one-on-one interactions with students. 

Andrei’s dissertation centers around how modern forestry has come to be an institution which strengthens states and nations — more specifically, how the industry connects Europe with its overseas colonies and empires, and how it interplays with economic control, landscapes, people and politics. 

While Andrei was not able to pinpoint exactly where his interest in history began, he said he has played a lot of historical video games in his time. Through working on research in his undergraduate career, his interest in the field was solidified, and he continues that in his courses today. 

“My [Modernizing and Contemporary Europe] GHS class this semester is based quite a bit on my own research,” Andrei said. 

Because of this, Andrei said he is able to bring in some of his own focus, such as the connection of Europe to areas overseas through colonies and empires, and instruct students more effectively. 

Molly Parker, a first-year criminology-psychology major, said that although she was initially not thrilled to be taking his course because it is one of her required credits, she has found Andrei to be a great teacher. 

“I like how he’s always willing to try to explain things in a different way,” Parker said. “I think having him as a professor makes me not dread it. He’s super nice and always open to help out his students. He makes it easy to pass his class and genuinely cares about the success of his students.” 

Anastasia Reinholt, a junior finance and entrepreneurship double major, emphasized how despite some of the readings being dense in the class, Andrei acknowledged that the readings were tough, and it made a difference. 

“Overall, I thought he was a very fair professor and had very reasonable expectations,”  Reinholt said. “I did learn a lot in the class.” 

Reinholt took Andrei’s “Themes in European History” course in the fall 2023 semester. Reinholt said that the class was made interesting by not being strictly lecture-based, and emphasizing the importance of discussion and research. 

Reinholt also said that there was an emphasis on collaboration in the class. Andrei structured the class in a way that required students to talk and review concepts to find parallels. 

Within the history, anthropology and classics department, Andrei said he has found the other members very welcoming and friendly. 

“It’s a very collegial environment, and that’s something that can be lacking in a lot of places,” Andrei said. “People show up to classes, and they see that the department here is very active. You have those kinds of small water cooler conversations that are important for building belonging.” 

Andrei’s fellowship will last through the rest of the school year. While he doesn’t have any definite plans after his role ends, he is looking forward to finishing his schooling at IU. 

“I do love teaching here, so it’d be great to return to teach at some point,” Andrei said. “Butler is a very special place in terms of the energy on campus and just the curiosity of students …  and small class sizes are a big difference between teaching [at Butler] and a larger state school.” 


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