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Victoria East teacher attends professional development program

Aug. 15, 2014 at 5:27 p.m.


A Victoria teacher was selected to attend America in the 1960s, a professional development institute sponsored by Humanities Texas, the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Austin and the LBJ Presidential Library.

Sam L. Vanek, who teaches government, economics and U.S. history at Victoria East High School, reported the Austin program was enjoyable and beneficial.

The institute drew 55 Texas teachers to the LBJ Library for three-and-a-half days of dynamic presentations and inspiring small-group workshops, studying topics such as the 1960 presidential election, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War and the music of the 1960s.

David M. Oshinsky, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian from New York University, discussed America in 1960s in his keynote presentation.

Other faculty included H.W. Brands, Janet Davis, Betty Sue Flowers, Mark A. Lawrence, Karl Miller and Jeremi Suri, all of The University of Texas at Austin; Mark Updegrove of the LBJ Presidential Library; Heather Cox Richardson of Boston College, and Terry Anderson and Albert S. Broussard of Texas A&M University.

"As an instructor, I am always looking for new material and different ways to assist our students in the learning process. I very much enjoyed the presentation of information by the many professors from around the country," Vanek said.

Humanities Texas was pleased to co-sponsor America in the 1960s, said Executive Director Michael L. Gillette.

"Giving talented teachers the opportunity to interact with their peers and leading scholars will enable them to engage students with exciting new perspectives on our nation's history," he said.

America in the 1960s was made possible with support from the state of Texas as well as from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Austin program was one of five Humanities Texas institutes this summer at major universities across Texas. Other host universities included the University of Houston, the University of North Texas and the University of Texas at San Antonio.

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