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Wilkes University History


Located in the heart of Wilkes-Barre’s vibrant historic district, Wilkes University is a great place to study history because the past is all around you.

Downtown Wilkes-Barre is full of historic buildings, including churches, stores, homes, and office buildings. River Commons park, located between Wilkes University and the Susquehanna River, is full of historical markers and a reminder that some of Wilkes-Barre’s founders came from New England as well as Pennsylvania.


History is also alive on the Wilkes campus: from the Victorian mansions that the university has re-used to a department rich in historical expertise that spans time periods and continents.

The city and the campus allow students to practice hands-on history, and to see and visit nearby places they have read about and discussed in classes.



From their books to your class

The faculty in History brings their world-class scholarship directly to your classroom.

  • Dr. Dennis Hupchick is a leading scholar on the Balkans who has published extensively on Eastern Europe. His most recent book is The Balkans: From Constantinople to Communism published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2002.
  • Dr. John Hepp is an urban historian whose first book, The Middle-Class City: Transforming Time and Space in Philadelphia, 1876-1926, was published in 2003 by the University of Pennsylvania Press. He has also co-edited a book on the papers of President Warren G. Harding.
  • Dr. Diane Wenger studies Pennsylvania and Public History. Her first book, The Country Storekeeper in Pennsylvania: Creating Networks in Early America, 1790-1807, was published by Penn State Press in 2008.
  • Dr. Jonathan Kuiken reseaches Britian and the energy industry. His current book project is entitled Empires of Energy: Britian, British Petroleum, Shell and the remarketing of the international oil industry 1957-1983.



Unique learning experiences both in and outside the classroom

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Small classes taught by full-time faculty equate to exciting and different experiences and the opportunity to learn and to grow in a variety of ways.

Students in History have helped produce historical documentaries as part of what is now the Wyoming Valley History Project.

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Wilkes students have held internships throughout the region at archives and historical sites and museums. If you are interested in non-teaching careers in history (what’s known as “public history” because you are sharing history with the public), internships are a great way to explore these options.

The History Club travels regularly to sites around the region ranging from Boston to Gettysburg to Washington. This is a great way to expand on what you learn in class and have some fun too. Wilkes is also home to a chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society.

The faculty in History is dedicated to the study of history abroad. Dr. John Hepp has led annual interdisciplinary study tours of London, England since 2006, while in 2009 Dr. Dennis Hupchick took the first Wilkes study tour to Istanbul, Turkey. At Wilkes, you not only have the chance to study abroad but do so with Wilkes faculty and fellow Wilkes students.

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Find your future career in History at Wilkes

Whether you choose to pursue a career in the law or teaching or public history or business, there are faculty members willing to discuss your options and assist you in exploring those options. As a history student at Wilkes you are never simply a number in a massive class; our small class size and individualized advising means the faculty gets to know you and you them.


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  • 84 West South Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766 |
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