By Tyler Wayne Patterson /// Web & Social Media Manager
Reiko Hillyer, visiting professor of history with term, has been selected by a search committee as a tenure-track professor in the history department beginning fall 2014. The decision comes two years after Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Tuajuanda Jordan ended another candidate search in which the search committee had unanimously recommended Hillyer for the position.
After Jordan ended the search with no hire despite the committee’s recommendation, many class of 2012 seniors refused to donate to the senior gift or college after graduation. Other students organized to express their anger with the administration’s “disregard for student body opinion,” Camille Christie (’13) said in a Pioneer Log article from April 2012. A Facebook group attracted hundreds of members and inspired a letter-writing campaign.
This year, the college opened a search for a similar position. After campus visits from three finalists, Hillyer was selected by the search committee and approved by the administration as a new Assistant Professor of History.
Hillyer received her Ph.D. from Columbia University, and specializes in the nineteenth-century American South, the built environment and African American History. She came to Lewis & Clark in 2004 as the college’s first minority scholar in residence. She has worked with the Ethnic Studies department and the Ray Warren Symposium on Race & Ethnic Studies.
Hillyer’s work in the classroom and community reflects a strong commitment to social justice.
She introduced the Inside-Out Prison Exchange program to Lewis & Clark, teaching History of Crime and Punishment in the United States to a combined class of LC students and incarcerated students at the Columbia River Correctional Facility in Northeast Portland. To teach Inside-Out courses, Hillyer had to complete rigorous training. She has committed herself to understanding local African-American History, and she gives walking tours for Know Your City.
Her book manuscript Designing Dixie: Tourism, Memory, and Urban Space in the New South, 1870-1941 has been accepted for publication and is forthcoming from the University of Virginia Press. The book explores Northern tourism and its role in reconciliation with the post-civil war New South, particularly the built environment.
Haley Best (’15), student representative on this year’s search committee, credits Hillyer for being a “fantastic educator who has already moved a great many students through her teaching.” In 2009 Reiko was named College of Arts and Sciences Teacher of the Year. At the award ceremony Reiko accepted the award saying “it’s a privilege to be able to do what I love everyday.
Students are excited that Dr. Reiko Hillyer will remain on campus. Another finalist for the search, Khalil Johnson, accepted a 2014-2016 postdoctoral fellowship with the history department.
“I am ecstatic to have Reiko remain a vital part of our History Department,” Best said.
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