July 21, 2024

Pennsylvania native hired to teach history


This archived article was written by: Christine Olsen

There are many new faces at CEU this year and one of them belongs to Todd Leahy. Leahy is originally from Pennsylvania where he received his bachelor’s degree in history at Penn State University. He then went to Fort Hays State University where he received his master’s in history followed by Oklahoma State University where he received his doctorate in history.
Proficient in German, Leahy’s dissertation was titled “The Canton Asylum: Indians, Psychiatrists, and Government Policy, 1899-1934.” His research interests include the American Indian/America West, Anthropology, U.S. history and Latin America.
This is his first year teaching as a fulltime instructor and his classes include American Civilization and Early America and Western Civilization to 1300. At OSU and Oklahoma Christian University, he taught Survey of U.S. History and Honors U.S. History. He has also taught U.S. History Since 1877 and Chicanos: A History of Mexican-Americans and Modern Latin America.
A strong background in anthropology, Leahy has studied the Native American culture; Aztecs, Mayas and Incas; Indians of the Southern Plains; ethnicity and the American experience; evolution of American Indian Culture; cultural anthropology and psychological anthropology.
His affiliations include memberships in Phi Kappa Phi, History of Science Society, Western History Association and Phi Alpha Theta.
Published extensively, Leahy’s most recent articles include “Pontiac, Tecumseh, and the Failure of Militant Pan-Indian Movements,” “My First Days at Carlisle: An Annotated Manuscript,” “Beef Instead of Bayonets: Cultural Mores and the Failure of Assimilation of the Kiowa-Comanche Reservation,” “Hollywood Indians: Stereotypes of American Indians in the Cinema” and “Showdown in the Wild West: Richard Henry Prat, William F. ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody and the Image of American Indians,”
He chose to come to CEU because, “I wanted to be somewhere where I can teach and interact with students on a personal level. So far I love it. It’s exactly what I wanted.” Leahy’s favorite part of teaching is interacting with students.
He likes to talk about things students are interested in outside the classroom. Carlie Golden, one of Leahy’s students, says she enjoys his class “because he gets everyone involved in class and he makes the subject interesting.” In his spare time Leahy also enjoys playing guitar, writing and hiking.
Besides teaching Leahy is also the new Service-Learning Faculty Coordinator for the SUN Center. He will be working closely with the SUN Center to help further the progression of service-learning and helping fellow faculty members initiate service-learning in their classrooms. “I am looking forward to this given what I do. The public has a very skewed understanding of American Indians and their place in our history as a nation and I get to work on fixing that. Then to have the opportunity to encourage other faculty to take on the tough questions in their discipline, it’s a great opportunity.”
Kathy Murray, SUN Center director, says she is “delighted to have such an enthusiastic person who understands service-learning. He has experience with it and is very willing to help further develop and expand CEU’s program. Even though he’s new to Utah he’s very willing to learn about our program and jump in.”
His goals, Leahy said, are to build good relationships with students and challenge, enlighten and entertain his them. He also wants to get service-learning better established and get it to the point that students are doing service because they want to and not because it’s a requirement.
Leahy has the following advice for students: “Take new classes that are outside your major. College is all about figuring it out, trying new things, exploring. You have lots of new opportunities so take advantage of them.”