Professor Spotlight: An Interview with Dr. Sewell


Dr. Sewell and her husband at her first NYC apartment on 12th street.



We recently sat down with one of STAC’s history professors, Dr. Stacy Sewell, to find out more about her career at STAC as well as her own college experiences and other fun facts.

Thoma Staff: When did you start working at STAC, and what is the best part about your job?

Dr. Sewell: I started at STAC in Fall, 2000.  I like the freedom I have here to be responsive to students and to craft the program and courses I want to teach.  The College has been very supportive of my efforts to teach non-U.S. history, something that other institutions and history departments might not support.

Thoma: What were your favorite and least favorite classes in college? 

Dr. S: My favorite class turned me on to history: “Reform, War, and Reaction in American Politics.”  Through it, I realized that history was contested. It is about argument and evidence; it’s not just facts and a story. My least favorite was “Marxist Aesthetics.”  I’m still trying to figure out what that meant.

Thoma: What is your favorite college memory? 

Dr. S: I lived in the East Village while in College.  It was so exciting to explore with friends as naïve as I was!  The music scene, the clubs, ethnic restaurants—I saw, listened, and ate everywhere downtown.


Thoma: What was your first job? 

Dr. S: The mall, in high school.  I worked at a store that sold sweaters, mostly.  A ruler was glued to the “folding table” and I had to fold each sweater 12 inches wide.


Thoma: What app do you find yourself using the most? 

Dr. S: Whatever app will please my 6-year old at the moment.


Thoma: Suppose you just sold your tech startup for 10 million dollars! What’s the first thing you do with the money? 

Dr. S: Maybe a big party at a homeless shelter.  World travel can come later…


Thoma: Out of all the classes you teach, which one is your favorite? 

Dr. S: I love “City and Suburb,” which I’m teaching this semester.  It compels students to look around at our built environment and political landscape and think about how these construct privilege and inequality.  I also enjoy teaching the class on the history of the 1960s because we can experience a lot of the popular culture of the time.


Thoma: If someone made a movie about your life, which actress would you pick to play you? 

Dr. S: I’ve been told I look a bit like Andie MacDowell (who’s that?)  but I wish it was Selena Gomez!


Thoma: Are there any hobbies that people don’t know you have? 

Dr. S: I listen to music pretty constantly—old stuff—punk rock, glam and hardcore from the 1970s and 80s.


Thoma: Do you have any current movie, TV, or music obsessions you want to mention? 

Dr. S: Can’t wait for the second season of “Better Call Saul,” the “Breaking Bad” prequel.


Thoma: If you were a candy, what candy would you be?

Dr. S: Candy cigarettes, because every time I see them I think, OMG they are still around?!?!


Thoma: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Dr. S: “Go south, young woman! Winter s****!”  Obviously, I did not follow up.

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