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Professor Douglas Lea

Assistant Professor of History  Difference Maker

Nominator: Jennifer Goss '02
Jennifer's Memories: "Dr." Lea, as I mistakenly called him during my years as an undergrad, was only temporary faculty at KU until recently. Despite his uncertain status, he took the time to invest in his students, myself included, and provide us with an amazing opportunity outside the classroom.

I first encountered Prof. Lea as a freshman in Western Civilizations II. At the end of the semester, he asked me to join the European Union Simulation course the following year. The course opened my eyes to contemporary European politics, and also provided me with the opportunity to take part in a simulation in Washington, D.C., with my classmates at the end of the semester. My experience at this simulation with other schools from the Middle-Atlantic region was invaluable. I gained new confidence in my knowledge of world affairs, and found myself challenged to apply in-classroom lessons in a different fashion. The experience was so amazing that I voluntarily agreed to participate the next two years, taking on the expansive role of commissioner.

I was able to seize this opportunity because Prof. Lea saw something in me as a freshman, and encouraged me to take part in something I never would have approached on my own. Through three more years of college, I took additional classes with Prof. Lea, and found him easily accessible and willing to help foster my love of history.