By Annabelle Blair | Echo
Alan Winquist, Professor of History, 1973
"One of the exciting things about teaching is you learn about the world, and the more you learn the more you realize you don't know. (I'm) very indebted to Taylor for expanding my mind."
A fortuitous opening in Taylor's history department brought Wheaton graduate Alan Winquist to Taylor in 1973. Winquist had taught high school in New York for three years and recently returned from a half year in South Africa. "I thought, 'I'll give it a five-year plan,'" said Winquist. "Well, five years turned into 42, and I've seen some wonderful changes."
The highlight of Winquist's time at Taylor was marrying his wife, Jessica Rousselow-Winquist. After a strong friendship, Winquist proposed to her at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in New York. Both being avid art-junkies, Winquist said they had attended a concert in the beautiful gothic church and were inspired by the music on the night he proposed.
Another point of enjoyment for Winquist was taking students oversees.
"When I first came in 1973, there was very limited global education," he said. He began taking groups to Europe in the first couple of years and expanded to East Asia, where a new world of art, culture and history captivated him. Iran is one place he'd like to visit in the future.
Winquist and Jessica will keep busy after retirement. He said they are blessed to be in good health and want to be as useful as possible. Possibly tutoring, traveling, watching Shakespeare plays at Stratford Festival in Canada and returning to Taylor to teach a couple of classes, per his department's request, are a few retirement plans.
"I would say that Dr. Winquist is probably the main reason that I became a history major," said senior Emily Brokaw. "Dr. Winquist's passion for history and his willingness to continue learning alongside his students has been incredibly motivating for me as a historian."
Winquist has written two books and co-authored three. He was chair and co-chair of the history department for eight years and also volunteered to serve as an adviser on The Echo and Ilium when staff was smaller and the need arose.
Jessica Rousselow-Winquist, Professor of Communication, 1967
"I have a huge number of interests, and that is the reason I chose this discipline. It allows me to go in so many different directions."
Having worked full time as a professor in the communication department since 1967, Jessica Rousselow-Winquist mixes her passions in life with her passion in the classroom, taking students deeper in their exploration of liberal arts.
Rousselow-Winquist and her husband, Alan, will look for places, people and ways to serve upon retirement and hope to continue being involved in teaching. Gardening, global traveling, reading, watching plays and laughing with Alan are things she looks forward to.
"She always asks for more, pushing me to my breaking point, but when I got to that point that is where I have always found my greatest potential-my best idea, my best work," said senior Jen Shepherd.
Rousselow-Winquist earned her doctorate over nine summers while simultaneously teaching full-time in Taylor's corporate communication department. Rousselow-Winquist said the inspiration of a guest professor at Taylor-who was in her 80s and full of vitality-encouraged her to get higher education and believe in herself. That is what she trusts she has passed on to students.
"Dr. Rousselow showed full confidence in me as an academic and as a person," said senior Mylie Winger. "Her encouragement has helped me realize the power my education has given me to change lives for the better."
Rousselow-Winquist has co-authored three books with her husband, directed multiple plays, and chaired the Communication department for 11 years. Achievements she sees as notable include lifelong learning and seeing students have lightbulb moments of discovery within their humanity and spiritual commitment.
Winquist and Rousselow-Winquist are among several faculty members retiring at Taylor in 2016.