Faculty Friday: Meet Dr. Daniel McInerney
Utah State University highlights Dr. Daniel McInerny, professor of U.S. cultural history. Raised in New York, Dr. McInerney received his bachelor’s degree at Manhattan College and a Master’s and PhD in American Studies at Purdue University. Dr. McInerney has recently become the fourteenth scholar to receive the Troyer Steele Anderson Prize from the American Historical Association, the largest association of historians in the world. The award was given for Dr. McInerney’s exceptional work as a leader in the Tuning Project, which started a few years ago, and is meant to bring historians together from across the United States in a collaborative effort to universalize an understanding about what students should have achieved by the time they graduate with degrees in history. Of the project, He says, “These seem to be simple questions, but we’ve never tackled these in a collaborative and systematic way,” and, “It turns out this is the professional disciplinary society that has taken the lead on all of these questions. It’s not English, not physics, not sociology; it’s history.” Along with his many projects with the American Historical Association, Dr. McInerney is researching the art and science of memory in the nineteenth century. He says, “I’m not a neuroscientist. I can’t go into that work, but what I did discover was the popularity in the nineteenth century, in the Anglo-American world, of mnemonic projects and of mnemonic devices and strategies for improving memory. That’s where my focus rests.” Out of all the duties that his career entails, Dr. McInerney enjoys teaching the giant survey courses the most. “[I] look at that audience and every day of the semester [I] see lights going on inside of people’s heads. They have suddenly seen something that they have never perceived before. I literally see this in their eyes and walk away from the class thinking, ‘I did my job’.” Aside from his work, Dr. McInerney also enjoys running, spinning, and watching old movies. To read the full interview of Dr. McInerney, click here.