Gatepost Interview – Jon Huibregtse, History Professor

By Sophia Harris, Interim Asst. News Editor 

What is your role here at FSU, and what does your job entail?

I am a professor in the History Department. I teach U.S. history classes, mostly, and also some Chinese history every once in a while. So that’s my role. 

What is your professional and educational background? 

I have a B.A. in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and also an M.A. from Eau Claire in history and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Akron in Ohio.

What made you want to become a history professor? 

I decided I didn’t want to go to law school. No, seriously, I’ve always liked history. And for me, it was one of those subjects that came really easily to me in school. And initially, when I graduated with my bachelor’s degree, I worked as a newspaper reporter for a couple of years, and then decided to go back to get a master’s in history with really no intention of getting a Ph.D., but then one thing led to another and I ended up going on for a Ph.D. Initially, the master’s was just to leapfrog my journalism career. 

What is the best part about being a history professor? 

I think the best thing about being any professor is being able to work with students and help students achieve their goals. Even if students are not going to be history majors, I enjoy just being around students and like I said, being able to play a really small role and sometimes a little bit bigger role in helping students to get jobs, start professions, learn, hopefully learn some things that will resonate now and in the future for them. 

What do you enjoy most about Framingham State?

I really like the students. I really wanted to be at a state school like this. That was kind of my goal in graduate school because I really believe in state education. My undergrad and both of my graduate degrees were from state institutions like this. I think that is one thing that I really like about being at FSU. Another thing I really like about being at FSU is the students. They work so hard, both in school and many of them have other obligations – family, work, what have you, that they have to balance, so I really admire that in a lot of our students. And I’ve been here long enough that I just have a lot of friends and a lot of connections at FSU.

What advice do you have for FSU students? 

The best advice to give students is to do their very best in their classes. To keep open lines of communication with faculty. When problems do come up, don’t hesitate to reach out to faculty. I think, you know, most faculty are pretty open and willing to help students if they can, but they can’t if they don’t know that there’s an issue. And also, do their best to just enjoy this time. I know, to students, it seems really hard and there are a lot of stresses and God, there’s so many stresses just in the world without even taking school into consideration, but to do their best every once in a while to slow down and enjoy and just, you know, be happy. … Find something that makes them happy that they can go to to relax and get away from all those stresses.