Indira Gesink - History
Assistant Professor, Department Chair
I was born in Kalamazoo, MI and went to my hometown university, Western Michigan then to graduate school at Washington University in St. Louis. I earned a Ph.D. in Modern Middle Eastern History with a specialty in Islamic educational and legal reform.
What have you learned while teaching at B-W?:
Many things, but above all that I learn from my students just as they learn from me. Learning is a collaboration process. Students share perspectives from other classes and I love that.
What inspired you to get into college teaching?:
When I was in high school and college I used to watch my instructors and think to myself, “I could do that…I could probably do that better than they can.” Then I traveled to the Middle East on a study abroad program, and the decision was made.
Describe the ways in which you mentor students interested in your department:
I advise students to take a few courses in areas that interest them first, and I explain the wide variety of career options available to history majors.
If you weren't teaching what would you be doing?:
I would do intelligence analysis for the U.S. government.
What do students like best about your class?:
Students say they like the stories I tell in class, the opportunity to do a lot of small group discussions and simulations of historical events, and the fact that I care enough to offer a lot of out-of-class help.