CORRECTION: A previous published version of the article stated that Professor Brade received her undergraduate degree at the University of Washington, Tacoma. She actually received her undergraduate degree at Pacific Lutheran University. Changes have been made.
At the start of the fall semester, Albion welcomed 20 new faculty and staff members to campus. Among those welcomed is assistant professor Laura Brade of the history department, whose specialty is German and Czechoslovakian history.
Professor Brade, originally from Seattle, started off her academic career at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, a smaller school close to Albion’s size. Without any specific track in mind besides a passion for history, Brade went overseas to Germany. This sparked her interest in the Holocaust, specifically the Kindertransport. The Kindertransport was the movement of 10,000 children from Germany, Czechoslovakia and Austria in 1938 and 1939 to Great Britain to save them from the Holocaust as a temporary measure. This was the topic of her future dissertation.
Professor Brade went on to graduate school at University of North Carolina where she continued to study Kindertransports, and even learned to speak, read and write in German and Czech.
After getting her PhD. at University of North Carolina, she began looking at job postings for history professors and found Albion College.
“[Albion’s history] department… has a really strong publishing record – there’s some pretty amazing scholars here. Just the department really stands out among a small, liberal arts college, and being in such a college is something I always envisioned myself doing,” said Brade.
Brade left North Carolina to come to the wintry northern states to study history and so far enjoys teaching at Albion. Professor Brade loves talking and interacting with the students and believes that they are “inquisitive and engaging.”
Student involvement on and off campus blew Brade away when first applying to work at Albion. Overall college involvement in the community was also extremely attractive to her.
“I’m really struck by how much the college is doing with the community of Albion, and that’s something that’s really important to me. I always envisioned myself living in a community that goes beyond the campus,” said Professor Brade.
Being able to see a college interact so closely with the improvement of a city and to see students interact with aspects of the community, rather than just campus life, is inspiring to her.
Brade is hopeful for her future at Albion and the continuation of her studies in the Holocaust program at Albion. The only thing she is worried about is the infamous, impending doom of wintertime in Michigan.
Next semester, Brade will be teaching 1500 Europe 2000 (History 103), 1918 Europe 1989 (History 218) and Nazi Germany (History 390).
Photo by Gabby Henriksen