There are teachers who come into your life who leave a lasting mark. For me, Joan Iversen was one of them. I was not a history major, but took two of her classes (US after 1945, I think, and History of the 60’s) and those classes were highlights of my education. I was at Oneonta from 79-83. After class, I sometimes stopped for a cigarette. Joan, an ex-smoker, would come up to me and demand, “Blow smoke in my face, blow smoke in my face!”

I feel very, very fortunate that I lucked into her classroom, and it left me with a firm belief in the value of a rounded, liberal arts education. I tell my son at Geneseo, “Just find the best teachers around and take their classes, doesn’t matter what they teach.” And when I say that, I think of Jim Mullen, Pat Meanor, Joan Iversen.

~James Preller (1983)

Photo, Clivia Mandala, courtesy of Laureen LaBar on Flickr