UNI hires new African American studies prof

Professor Emily Masghati was recently hired as UNIs new African American studies professor.

Courtesy Photo

Professor Emily Masghati was recently hired as UNI’s new African American studies professor.

Mallory Schmitz

UNI is enthusiastic to welcome its newest faculty member, Professor Emily Masghati.  Originally hailing from Augusta, Ga. Professor Masghati first completed her B.A. at Vanderbilt University before going on to earn her M.A. and Ph.D at the University of Chicago, graduating in 2019. Her areas of specialty are African American history, the history of education, and modern U.S. history.  

As a new assistant professor of history, Professor Masghati brings a passionate and current perspective to the department. “It’s become more clear in the past few years that we can’t really understand the world that we live in without understanding how we got here,” explains Professor Masghati. “I’m committed to giving students the opportunity to explore big questions, problems and contradictions at the heart of American history and to think more critically about the world we live in now.”

UNI’s emphasis on teaching provided a significant draw for her to continue her career at the university. She finds her work as a teacher to be the most fulfilling part of her academic career, but she is also committed to her research on the influence of elite money in higher education, especially as it impacted African American scholars. She appreciates that UNI encourages its faculty not only in their high-quality teaching endeavors, but also in creating a balance between teaching and maintaining active and rigorous research programs.

While UNI’s identification as a teachers college has been one of its major staples for all of its history, Professor Masghati has a greater personal connection to it through the true dedication to teaching she holds in her life. 

“One of the things I always try to do in the classroom is engage in student-centered learning. For me it’s not just an empty phrase,” she explains “I want students to always be engaged and to always be doing the work of a historian from day one, instead of just being passive recipients of facts to regurgitate on a test.”

Although she is just beginning her time at UNI, Professor Masghati is looking forward to serving UNI students. “I’m excited to bring some of the teaching techniques that I’ve developed over the years to UNI students and to see them grow as thinkers and as people.”