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Future history professor emphasizes culture

Collecting a total of four areas of study, Tibo Colman is a future history professor with a cultural emphasis. He is also a skilled linguist, speaking five languages fluently.

Colman was born and raised in Belgium for 14 years before moving to Norway. His first language is Flemish, but he has also learned to speak Dutch, Norwegian, English and French. Before attending Whitworth, Colman also spent some time in Kenya and Tanzania with different charities and development non-governmental organizations. These cultural experiences encouraged Colman toward studying history.

"I became more and more interested in cultural differences and the different histories that are attached to those cultures," Colman says.

Colman is majoring in cross-cultural studies and international studies, both with a history emphasis, and pursuing minors in theology and philosophy.

"Originally, I wanted to go into international politics so I could work with the UN, which is why I chose international studies with a history emphasis," Colman says. "But as I began taking classes at Whitworth, I discovered that studying history is what I really love."

Colman's majors, coupled with his diverse cultural experiences, contribute to a unique perspective on history.

"For me, it's not only important to know what people did, but also why people did what they did," Colman says. "Being able to contextualize events and humanize them is essential when studying history. I feel like international studies provides me with what I need to investigate the world."

Many of Colman's classes are within the history department, allowing him to forge meaningful relationships with some of the history faculty. Colman works for Professor Anthony Clark as the Lindaman Chair student research assistant.

"Being at Whitworth has made me realize how precious our relationships with our professors are," Colman says. "They really care about us, and it shows in their work both inside and outside the classroom."

After graduating from Whitworth, Colman plans to stay in the United States to pursue both his master's and doctorate degrees in history to become a professor.