Peter Lucas Hulen
Where I Work
"Wabash College educates men to think critically, act responsibly, lead effectively, and live humanely."
"Founded in 1832, Wabash College is an independent, liberal arts college for men with an enrollment of 850 students. Its mission is excellence in teaching and learning within a community built on close and caring relationships among students, faculty, and staff.
"Wabash offers qualified young men a superior education, fostering, in particular, independent intellectual inquiry, critical thought, and clear written and oral expression. The College educates its students broadly in the traditional curriculum of the liberal arts, while also requiring them to pursue concentrated study in one or more disciplines. Wabash emphasizes our manifold, but shared cultural heritage. Our students come from diverse economic, social, and cultural backgrounds; the College helps these students engage these differences and live humanely with them. Wabash also challenges its students to appreciate the changing nature of the global society and prepares them for the responsibilities of leadership and service in it.
"The College carries out its mission in a residential setting in which students take personal and group responsibility for their actions. Wabash provides for its students an unusually informal, egalitarian, and participatory environment which encourages young men to adopt a life of intellectual and creative growth, self-awareness, and physical activity. The College seeks to cultivate qualities of character and leadership in students by developing not only their analytic skills, but also sensitivity to values, and judgment and compassion required of citizens living in a difficult and uncertain world. We expect a Wabash education to bring joy in the life of the mind, to reveal the pleasures in the details of common experience, and to affirm the necessity for and rewards in helping others."
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So goes the mission statement of Wabash College where I work. It is one of the last all male colleges in the USA. As far as I can tell, the college has evolved from expressing the outmoded notion that women and men should be educated differently as a reflection of social structures, cultural values, or intrinsic characteristics to the notion that it might be a good fit for some male students to be educated in an all male environment due to whatever unique educational challenges male students might face.
When I first arrived I tended to disregard the single-sex makeup of classes and just focus on the material. It turns out that over time my manner of teaching and interacting with students has subtly evolved as I have naturally leveraged the male-to-male quality of interactions. There have been times when working here has been difficult, for the same kinds of reasons that can make any work environment difficult, but the college has also supported me and given me a shot at the very kind of career I wanted. On the whole, I'm grateful to be here.