Get to Know Dr. Tobin

September 24, 2018

Kathy Tobin

In March of this year, Dr. Kathleen Tobin was announced as the new chair of the Department of History and Philosophy. Dr. Tobin brings a great amount of experience to her new leadership role. She earned her undergraduate degree from Calumet College of St. Joseph in Communication and Radio & Television Production and started her career as a local reporter for WJOB and Cable 3 News.

Having always wanted to be a writer, Dr. Tobin found that working in local news allowed her to write and tell stories. Looking to grow as a writer and storyteller, she decided to take a few graduate classes in history, saying “I thought that getting a graduate degree in History would make me a better writer, and also a more informed writer.” She soon found a passion in history and achieved a Master’s Degree from Purdue Northwest (then known as Purdue University Calumet).

Following her graduate studies, Dr. Tobin decided that she wanted to teach History at a collegiate level on a full-time basis. She then applied for the PhD Program at the University of Chicago and was accepted.

While completing her PhD, Dr. Tobin began teaching US History, Latin American History, and the American Revolution. She taught at various schools including Calumet College of St. Joseph, Valparaiso University, and Indiana University Northwest before finding a home at Purdue Northwest.

I want them to learn how to think, and think critically. I think one of the best things that we can do in history is to reevaluate evidence all of the time and consider sources of information.

A passion for teaching

Dr. Tobin has made history a very personal passion for herself. She loves teaching all levels of history and was instrumental in creating a minor in Latin American studies. Her classes range from Latin American History to Caribbean History to the Cold War. Recently she has taken to teaching First Year Experience (FYE) courses at the Westville campus.

Dr. Tobin is looking to inspire and challenge students when it comes to studying and researching history. In regard to what she wants students to take away from her classes, Dr. Tobin says “I want them to learn how to think, and think critically. I think one of the best things that we can do in history is to reevaluate evidence all of the time and consider sources of information.” While she loves teaching and imparting her knowledge onto students, she has found that she is also learning from them.

In addition to all of her responsibilities within the History Department, Dr. Tobin is also a published author. Dr. Tobin’s first book, The American Religious Debate over Birth Control, 1907-1937, an expansion of her dissertation, was published in 2001. Her second book was Politics and Population Control: A Documentary History, which was published in 2004.

Selected articles of hers have appeared in the Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, Cold War History, and U.S. Catholic Historian. With the little free time she has, Dr. Tobin loves to work in her garden, cook, and take in a good documentary.