New Faces and Places: A Tale of Two Augustanas
Posted on August 26, 2016 by Tia Lalani
Welcome Dr. Geoffrey Dipple to Augustana!
It is the best of times, it is the worst of times – the beginning of a new school year, that is. And with all the fresh excitement, anticipation, and yes, a drop or two of stress this time of year may bring, it helps to be as familiar as possible with our beautiful campus and the wonderful people on it. First year students aren’t the only unfamiliar faces around, and our new September segment will seek to introduce new staff and faculty members, along with additions to campus, to make easing into the first semester the very best of times.
One of our new faculty members this year is Dr. Geoffrey Dipple, coming to us from Augustana University (yes, you read that right), located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Geoff (or Dr. Dipple, which you have to admit has a nice ring to it) grew up just North of Ottawa in the Ottawa valley, moved to Chicago when he was eighteen, and then did his undergraduate degree at Valparaiso University in Indiana. Geoff came back to Canada for his graduate studies, doing his masters and PhD at Queen’s University, and then teaching there over the course of his career, as well as at the University of Ottawa, the University of Toronto, and Augustana University in Sioux Falls, where he spent eighteen years as a history professor and in a number of administration roles including the Chair of the Department of History, and Chair of the Social Sciences Division. Here, he will work in a similar role as a History professor and the Chair of Social Sciences.
Geoff loved his time in Sioux Falls, a campus of about 1700 students, because of its small class sizes and the ability to recognize and know each of his students, a familiar notion at our Augustana as well. Speaking to the coincidence in names, Geoff jokes “it’s one of the reasons I applied” and chuckles about sending in his application to Augustana University on a letterhead bearing the name “Augustana University”. But in all seriousness, Geoff and his wife had already been wanting to move back to Canada when the opportunity to come here arose, and he is looking forward to working in a similar teaching environment to Sioux Falls, but with the resources of one of the biggest Universities in the country, here at the U of A.
Geoff’s research includes the history of the Protestant Reformation in German speaking lands, and he spent some time in West Germany himself while writing his dissertation. He is passionate about his subject area, relating that “the beauty of history is that it subsumes so many things.” Geoff also is a lover of language; he speaks enough German to get by, and can read a bit in Latin, Italian and Dutch, although he modestly adds that it can be a painstaking process that always includes a dictionary. He is currently working on an article and book-length biography on two different early sixteenth-century religious radicals, as well as a book on literary and lived utopias in early modern Europe. He will be teaching courses on the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire this year, and when asked what advice he would give to students said “enjoy your undergraduate education.” We’re thrilled that Geoff has joined our campus – one Augustana’s loss is another Augustana’s gain.
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