Department Alumna Rachel K. Deale Shines at Barton College

Katie DealeAlumna of the History Department Rachel “Katie” Deale has left the familiar halls of ten Hoor for bigger and better things — namely, an Assistant Professorship in American History at Barton College in Wilson, North Carolina.

At Barton, Dr. Deale teaches four courses per semester, advises undergraduates, supervises internships, serves on committees, and runs a yearly lecture series. It’s certainly a big shift from The University of Alabama, says Deale, who completed her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees here. But it has not been a difficult adjustment: “So far I love working at Barton. Everyone (faculty and staff) have been extremely helpful with the transition.” Classes are capped at twenty-five students, which Deale likes, saying that it facilitates closer relationships between professors and students, and “makes it easier to go deeper with the material and makes class discussions much more doable.” This semester, Dr. Deale is teaching U.S. History Before 1877, U.S. History After 1877, North Carolina History, and America in the 1950s. As for her teaching goals, Deale says that “I hope to help students learn to think critically and improve their writing. I also hope to help students be successful once they graduate from Barton College.”

Professor Deale completed her dissertation, “Acts of War: The Southern Seizure of Federal Property, 1860-1861,” under (Emeritus) Professors George Rable and Lawrence Kohl in 2017. Deale believes her experiences and faculty relationships were a major part of her education here at UA, citing the teaching experience she gained as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and the mentorship of Rable and Kohl. Additionally, UA students may remember Dr. Deale as Katie, the longtime TA in Dr. Kohl’s Civil War course. Deale says she has always wanted to teach her own Civil War course, and was excited to do so at Barton last semester. In addition to her teaching duties, Deale is also working on revising her dissertation for publication.

Deale cites her involvement in the department as journal editor, assistant editor, and book review editor for Southern Historian, curator of a Confederate imprint exhibit at W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library, assistant-organizer of a professional conference, and athletic tutor as important facets of her education that have continued to help her in her career. To current students, Deale says: “The best advice I can give is to get involved. Take advantage of all the opportunities available to you…It is also important to give everything your best effort and learn as much as possible. UA has so many things to offer students and it is important to take advantage of it.”

We miss Katie, but we are also delighted to hear about her successes. We are proud to have her as a representative of the department at Barton. Roll Tide, Dr. Deale!