News Item

Rausch Wins Moore Award

July 21, 2016

Franklin RauschLander Assistant Professor of History Dr. Franklin Rausch discusses a film clip in his Japanese History class, one of numerous general education courses he teaches.

GREENWOOD —  It’s not hard to see why Lander University Assistant Professor of History Dr. Franklin Rausch was chosen to receive this year’s Moore Award for Excellence in General Education Teaching.

Rausch teaches a wide assortment of general education classes, including world history, honors history and Asian history classes that fulfill Lander’s global issues/non-western studies requirement.

The only classes he teaches that aren’t general education are specialized courses like History of Christianity and classes for history majors that teach the skills of being historians.

Students coming from other fields are sometimes apprehensive about taking upper level history courses, but if they apply themselves, they usually do fine. “A lot of times people are better than they think they are,” he said.

Rausch does some “little things,” as he puts it, to help students succeed.

“I try, after that first exam, to send an email to students who are having some trouble and say, ‘Hey, why don’t you come and see me?’” He gives them bonus points if they do.

“I also try to email a student who’s improved or just done well from the beginning and say, ‘Hey, you’re doing a great job, keep it up.’” Initiating a dialogue helps students see that “you’re not some scary guy.”

He posts Powerpoints online before class so students can print them and take notes on them, which helps them to pay more attention to the day’s lecture. Video clips are used liberally, as a way of sparking class discussions, and weekly quizzes help keep students on track. The class before an exam is devoted to a review session, which he records and uploads on YouTube.  

Rausch is a specialist in East Asian Studies, and his classes often feature students or guest speakers from that corner of the world.

Teaching isn’t all he’s been doing. His paper, “Humble but Wise: Papal and Korean Leadership during Pope Francis’s 2014 Visit to Korea,” was presented at the American Academy of Religion’s annual meeting in November. Another paper, “The Silent Church: Accounting for the Lack of International Intellectuals in Korean Catholicism during the Japanese Colonial Period, 1910-1945,” was part of the program at the American Catholic Historical Association’s annual meeting in January.

Later this month, he’ll talk about missionary writings in Korea at a conference in Japan.

Rausch has also been busy publishing. His article, “‘All Man, All Priest’”: Father Emil Kapaun, Religion, Masculinity, and the Korean War,” appeared last fall in Journal of Korean Religions, and “Suffering History: Comparative Christian Theodicy in Korea,” was published by Acta Koreana last month. He also wrote an essay, “Nationalist Movements Before 1945,” for The Routledge Handbook of Modern Korean History, published earlier this year.

Rausch is revising his dissertation, “The Ambiguity of Violence: Ideology, State, and Religion in The Late Chosŏn Dynasty,” for submission as a book.

It’s the first year since Rausch joined the faculty at Lander that he hasn’t had to work at making a new course.

“I’m happy about that. It’s given me a little more time to kind of step back and reflect on what I’m doing.”

He would like to introduce more “metacognition” into his classes, to encourage students to be more self-reflective. “I’m working on making my assignments more like that,” he said.

He’s also considering ways he can make broader use of bonus assignments as a tool to “help our students learn better and to succeed.”

Rausch, who won last year’s Young Faculty Scholar Award, expressed thankfulness at being selected again to receive one of Lander’s top academic awards, saying he is “very honored.”