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Dr. Chambliss’ bittersweet farewell

After working at Rollins for 15 years, History Professor Dr. Julian Chambliss is leaving Rollins in August. He was offered a very unique opportunity at Michigan State University: the duties of a full professor with a joint appointment in English and History. He will also hold a place in the Consortium for the Study of Critical Diversity in a Digital Age.

Dr. Chambliss first came to Rollins in 2003 as a visiting professor in the Department of History, where he became a tenure-track professor a year later.

He has been a valued Professor of History and a Coordinator of the African & African-American Studies program. Specializing in comics, culture, and digital humanities for years now, some would say that Michigan State University offered the perfect fit for him.

“This was a really hard decision for me,” said Chambliss, “I have deep roots and great affection for Rollins.”

His innovative thinking about the digital humanities will be an asset to Michigan State.

Chambliss said that his fondest memories at Rollins come from his relationships, both with his students and the other faculty. “My conversations with students and working with them in and out of the classroom have been great,” he said. “My colleagues at Rollins are like my family, so I will miss them more than I can express.”

His peers in the Rollins history department are also sad to see him go. “Julian has been an integral part of our department for decades,” said Dr. Claire Strom, professor of history. She mentioned that his work has exposed students to new ways of thinking and understanding in their worlds, and that he has consistently shared his knowledge and expertise with a wide variety of audiences.

“On a personal note, Julian is a dear friend, and I will miss his kindness, humor, and irreverence greatly,” said Strom.

“One of the best things about Julian is the way he always thinks outside of the box,” said Dr. Hannah Ewing, an assistant professor of history. “A favorite memory was when he led an independent study with a History major to design a text-based online game using local Winter Park history.”

Even though she is sad to see him leave, Ewing is excited for his new opportunities.

Although his time at Rollins has come to an end, Chambliss stressed how great of a school Rollins is and how dedicated the faculty is to its students.

“I leave knowing great things are coming,” he said. “I know the faculty is dedicated to supporting students in their chosen endeavors. I will miss seeing the great things we do every day at Rollins.”

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