Preston Receives 2011-12 Faculty Recognition Award


Dr. Margaret Preston, associate professor and chair of the History Department, is the recipient of the Augustana Student Association (ASA) 2011-2012 Faculty Recognition Award. The award recognizes outstanding teaching and contributions to the Augustana community by a faculty member.

Students nominate a professor they feel displays one or more of the five core values of the College (Christian, Liberal Arts, Excellence, Community, Service) as well as how that faculty member has positively impacted their experience at Augustana.

An excerpt from Dr. Preston’s nomination reads: "Dr. Preston demands excellence of her students and supports them in this endeavor ... She has a gentle way of helping students pursue excellence not just in the classroom, but in attending conferences, broadening their academic experiences, and discovering what they are passionate about. She holds herself to a level of academic and personal excellence that is demonstrated throughout the other values."

"She embraces [Augustana's] core values and lives them out each day as a friend, mentor, and respected faculty member. We are very lucky to have her at Augustana, and she is already revered as 'one of Augieʼs finest' by students. She gives for the sake of her students and the campus community."

A social and economic historian who also focuses on issues of gender in modern Ireland, Britain and India, Preston joined Augustana in 2001 and teaches courses on Modern Europe, Ireland, World War I and Western Civilization. She has lived and traveled extensively in Ireland and England and regularly co-teaches a course that takes students to Ireland and England during Augustana's January term.

She received her Ph.D. from Boston College in 1999. Published in 2004, her book "Charitable Words: Gentlewomen, Social Control and the Language of Charity in Nineteenth-Century Dublin" focused on the intersections of race, gender, class and social control within the language of charity. Her research has been published in The Historian, Eire-Ireland and New Hibernia Review. Most recently, she authored "A Journey of Faith, A Destination of Excellence: Avera McKennan Hospital’s First Century of Caring,” in observance of the hospital's centennial.

A recipient of a 2005 grant from the University of Notre Dame, Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, Preston has also studied the role of Irish women in the Dakotas.