Andy Mink is a storyteller. He understands the critical role that narrative plays in learning and skillfully structures his work—his teaching—to take full advantage of this powerful device. Whether through images, artifacts, or advanced technology, Andy helps us grasp the truth in Faulkner’s assertion that, “The past is not dead. It is not even past.” His pedagogical approach to history and social studies reveals the complexity of the human story, creating links across time, space, and cultures. He blurs the lines between disciplines and institutions to design learning experiences that inspire meaningful discourse and advance our thinking.
Andy harnesses his depth of knowledge in both history and technology and combines them to make wonderfully compelling narratives. He also has the rare gift of being able to really listen to people and help them articulate their ideas so that they may share them with a broader audience. His long-term visions of projects (his own or when working with others) are always thoughtful and purposeful, and he is a dedicated partner when working to achieve goals. We have been very fortunate to have Andy on our Board of Directors, and his experience and insight have been invaluable to helping us achieve our goals.
We invited Andy to work with our faculty as part of a Mellon Foundation grant on the digital humanities. Our faculty have high expectations when it comes to faculty development and a low tolerance for canned, shallow pedagogical formulas and speakers. Andy’s workshop was a huge hit. Faculty came away energized, excited, and curious to learn more. The examples, tools, and methods he introduced were innovative, fresh, and just what we needed to open up new teaching and learning possibilities in this brave new digital world. Based on the reactions from our faculty, I would welcome Andy back to Earlham any time and can recommend him highly for any educational audience or context K through 20.