Ashley Thompson | Features Writer
Ever wonder what a professor might be up to when they are not teaching class? Assistant Professor of History Dzavid Dzanic gives some insight into what he enjoys doing and more about him outside of the classroom.
With so much happening in life, our accomplishments are a good record of things achieved in that time.
“When my students succeed, that’s when I feel like I’ve accomplished something that makes me very proud. In fact, I would say that this is one of the most rewarding elements of my job as a professor.” Dzanic said. “There is a great sense of pride that emerges when one sees the students do well on an exam, write an excellent paper, or complete an engaging and insightful discussion. That gives me a chance to see individuals excel, expand their perspectives, and improve their analytical skills.”
He said witnessing that process—and participating in it—is incredibly rewarding.
Dzanic teaches history for a few reasons, ones he said were common as well as a more personal perspective. “I teach history because I think that a better historical understanding can help us all navigate an increasingly globalized world. History allows us to link the past, the present and the future. I think that even students who are not necessarily pursuing a major in history have much to gain from a deeper understanding of how the past has shaped the present—and will continue to shape the future.” Dzanic said.
He went on with his personal perspective, saying that, “ I spent a large part of my childhood in European cities that had at various times been under the control of the Roman, Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, Russian, Spanish and French Empires. These various influences can still be seen in the forts, castles, and ruins that dot the landscape, in the way people speak, in the local art, and in the urban organization.”
He said he has wanted to understand these various historical layers since he was a child, and he said he has a “vivid memory” of wanting to be a historian since he was a child.
Adding on to why he enjoyed history at a young age Dzanic said, “In addition to playing soccer with my friends for most of the day, I had even helped organize a little group whose goal was to study the local history together. Most of my friends from that time continue to live in Europe and they have pursued careers that have nothing to do with history, but I am happy that I’ve been able to transform my initial passion into a career.”
Along with subject related matters, Dzanic shared his own personal hobbies as well.
“Most of my students probably do not know that I am very serious about drawing. In fact, after history, I would say that drawing is my second passion.”
He said he often does not have time to draw due to his busy schedule, but he said he said he has not given up, as he feels there is a “sense of discovery both in history and in drawing.”
Dzanic has also traveled quite frequently due to his family background in Europe.
“During summer visits to Europe, I usually like to begin in London and then travel south. Over the past few years, I’ve spent a lot of time in London, Paris, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Milan, Rome, Dubrovnik, Barcelona, Granada, and Cadiz, as well as other cities around the Mediterranean and in Germany.” Dzanic said.
Looking from a candid perspective on a professor’s life, another person could discover similar hobbies and even feel more of a connection with a faculty member.
“I’m really look forward to working with students at APSU over the coming years and doing my best to help them succeed in their academic endeavors,” Dzanic said.