James Madison Fellow has 'learned so much' just two classes into MAHG program at AU
Once Erik Iverson found out that fellow history/government teacher Carrie Huber was named this year’s James Madison Memorial Foundation Fellow for South Dakota, he told her about Ashland University’s Master of American History and Government program (MAHG).
The James Madison Foundation awards its fellows with $24,000 toward graduate education, which Iverson, South Dakota’s 2006 recipient, used at AU. As funding permits, the Foundation awards one fellowship per year for each state.
“I told her I really enjoyed being able to do in-person classes in the summer and not having to give up teaching or taking night classes to fulfill the degree requirements,” said Iverson, who teaches at the same high school as Huber. “I also told her that there were top-notch professors from throughout the country that were second to none.
“I mentioned that the collegiality of fellow students and professors was nothing like I’d experienced before,” Iverson added, “and it was the best educational experience I ever had.”
After listening to what Iverson had to say, Huber said AU “sounded like a perfect fit.”
So far, after completing two classes last summer, that has been the case.
“Even from just two classes, I have learned so much and have found numerous ways to connect history to my government classes,” said Huber, who is in her eighth year of teaching at Stevens High School in Rapid City, South Dakota. “The conversations in the in-person classes are so rich. They took my understanding of history deeper than I expected.
“I also love the networking opportunities,” she added. “Teaching is so social, and it is great to have a network of colleagues across the country.”
Huber, who also won the 2023 Gilder Lehrman History Teacher of the Year award for South Dakota, didn’t start her career as a teacher.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, she worked for the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington state in 2011 and 2012 working in constituent relations outreach.
While she enjoyed interacting with constituents and seeing how policies crafted in Washington, D.C., were impacting the people of Washington state, Huber said her favorite part of that job was working with the college interns.
“I think I was always destined to be a teacher,” said the South Dakota native, who then returned to her home state to earn her teaching degree. “I liked how a fulfilling experience in our office could help (the interns) decide what to do with their life.”
Growing up on a farm in South Dakota greatly developed Huber’s interest in government because her family was always connected to how policies impacted agriculture and her parents always talked about their elected officials and encouraged her to pay attention to politics.
As evidenced by her outside-of-the-classroom studying, Huber has a real passion for government and “is very deserving of the Madison Fellowship,” Iverson said.
“Just this Constitution Day, she gave a talk to the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution about the Constitutional Convention,” he said. “She has long been the AP government teacher (at Stevens High School) and she’s always finding new ways to incorporate fun new ways to engage her students in the study of government.”