The news of today reported by the journalists of tomorrow

The Beacon

The news of today reported by the journalists of tomorrow

The Beacon

The news of today reported by the journalists of tomorrow

The Beacon

Division of Global Cultures celebrates Dr. Kuiken’s book

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Emma Broda
Dr. Kuiken poses with his new book, “Oil for Britain: The United Kingdom and the Remaking of the International Oil Industry, 1957-1988.”

Students, faculty and friends all gathered in Kirby Hall recently to support Dr. Jonathan Kuiken’s newly published book.

Kuiken, associate professor of history and the director of the Honors Program, had his first book published, “Oil for Britain: The United Kingdom and the Remaking of the International Oil Industry, 1957-1988.” The book was published earlier this year.

The book covers the United Kingdom’s involvement in the international oil industry during the late 20th century. Writing a historical book requires considerable research and work, and this was no different for Kuiken.

“Writing a book is difficult in the best of circumstances,” said Kuiken. “Monographs focusing on history require you to do a lot of secondary source reading and a significant amount of primary source research in libraries, archives, etc.”

The book had been a long time in the making for Kuiken with many other responsibilities taking up his time.

“The biggest challenge, however, is finding both the time and the energy to do serious research and writing,” said Kuiken.

Copies of Kuiken’s book were displayed at the event. The book features United Kingdom’s involvement in the international oil industry. (Emma Broda)

“At Wilkes we have a pretty heavy teaching and advising load on top of our other responsibilities such as serving on committees. Obviously teaching is an amazing privilege, but it also takes a lot of time and, even more, a lot of energy.”

The hard work put into the book was celebrated with a party with refreshments and a speech from Kuiken. Many of those in attendance were aware of the time and effort Kuiken put into this achievement.

“I know he was stressed so I could imagine he was relieved,” said Megan Novak, junior environmental science major. “I felt proud to see it finished.”

There was a definite sense of pride and excitement from all attending the party, and there were even some tears shed during his speech.

“It was wonderful recognizing Dr. Kuiken’s big achievement,” said Dr. Chelsea Chamberlain, professor of history and colleague of Kuiken.

Mia Decker, junior history major, said that attending the event put a smile on her face.

“Dr. Kuiken is one of my favorite professors, and every class I’ve had with him has been lovely and I wanted to support his achievement,” said Decker.

Even during his speech Kuiken expressed he does not necessarily enjoy things where he is the center of attention, especially a party like this one. He shared that this one, however, was different.

“Researching and writing can be a pretty lonely experience so the importance of having the support of friends, family, colleagues, and students – many of whom were at the book party – is hard to overstate,” said Kuiken. “It’s easy to doubt yourself, and hard to fight the temptation to give up, so having people there to cheer you on is really appreciated.”

One particularly memorable moment from the party and his speech was his thanks to his children, Madeline and Thomas, whom the book was dedicated to. During his speech he also shared that the two were part of the reason why the book took so long to finish. However, he shared why he decided to dedicate it to them.

Left to right: Morgan Steiner junior political science, international relations and history major, Liz Keller first year political science major, Jen Mclaughlin assistant director of the honors and scholars program, Kamea Paresa sophomore math and secondary education major and Megan Novak junior environmental science supporting Kuiken’s book publishing. (Emma Broda)

“But in all seriousness, having children is one of the greatest motivations to be the best person you can be,” said Kuiken. “They are a tremendous source of joy in my life, and their ability to help me put the importance of my work into proper perspective made my dedicating the book to them an obvious choice.”

It was clear from the party just how well respected and loved Kuiken is at Wilkes.

“If you had one conversation with Dr. Kuiken, you would remember him forever,” said Kamea Paresa, sophomore math and secondary education major. “He holds the kind of character that inspires you and encourages you. He is an incredibly talented and intelligent professor who has done so many great things.

“He’s just such a humble and well-rounded individual. My experience at Wilkes wouldn’t be the same without him. He gives great advice and is also very personable. He’s just an overall great person.”