The Midwest might seem like a strange, mundane place for someone who has visited several countries to settle down in, but for Jacqueline Hogan, sociology professor and department chair of the Asian Studies Department at Bradley, that place was just the right fit.
“I consider myself really lucky because I get to teach upper division general education classes and the non-western civilization area,” Hogan said. “I love teaching all the classes I [have] because I get to talk about cultures all over the world.”
Hogan didn’t originally come to Peoria to stay. She initially came to Bradley in 2000 for a year-long teaching assignment to replace a professor on sabbatical. Hogan said she liked teaching here and that she fit well within the department, so she decided to stay.
“I had never even seen Peoria before I moved here from Australia,” Hogan said. “I had never visited Bradley, but just came here for the one year and ended up staying.”
Hogan received her master’s degree in Iowa for linguistic anthropology. She then traveled to Japan for her master’s degree fieldwork research.
“When I went back [to Japan, the language] came back pretty quickly, like within about a week,” Hogan said. “Sometimes I still dream actually in Japanese and when I’m dreaming in Japanese my dream self is always struggling, is always asking, ‘oh, how do you say such and such.’”
In Japan, she met her husband and later moved to his home country of Australia. In Tasmania, she received her Ph.D. in sociology.
“It is a beautiful, beautiful place, Tasmania,” Hogan said. “It’s an island about the size of Ohio, very mountainous and lots of really remote areas. Just one of the most beautiful places in the world.”
Hogan values international travel, and said it has the potential to change students’ lives. It forces people out of their comfort zones and challenges them to see different perspectives from other parts of the world.
“As you meet people from other countries, you also develop an awareness of the ways America is perceived around the world,” Hogan said. “In the US, we don’t have much exposure to the media, politics and cultures of other societies. So travel is a crucial part of better understanding the world we live in.”
According to Hogan, one of her favorite aspects about teaching is introducing students to new cultures.
“It is so fun to introduce students to these cultures,” Hogan said “Lots of times cultures they’ve never even heard of and help them see the world in a different way. I think Bradley students are so interested in what we’re talking about and they ask such thought-provoking questions that almost every day I come away from class with something new to think about.”
Hogan said that this is special because not all students are this way. She said she loves being in the classroom every day and loves being challenged by the students.