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Meet Rebecca Berens Matzke

  • Ph.D. in modern British history, modern European history, United States diplomatic history, Cornell University
  • M.A. in history, Cornell University
  • B.A. in history and English, University of Nebraska

Hi! I’m Professor Matzke, and I’ve taught history at Ripon College since 2003. While my PhD is in the history of modern Britain and Europe, I teach a variety of courses, including World History, the Cold War, and World War I, and Catalyst classes. I really enjoy teaching Public History, in which students think critically about all the ways non-academics learn about history (including museums and movies) and learn skills to create their own special public history projects. My scholarly interests include the role of Britain’s naval power in its foreign policy in the 19th century, British propaganda to the U.S. in World War I, and the reception of Atlas missiles in Nebraska during the Cold War. I love history, and I hope my enthusiasm makes my students love history as well!


Icon for: What book or article has shaped your work as a teacher in your field?

What book or article has shaped your work as a teacher in your field? “Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts” by Sam Wineburg

Icon for: What is your teaching philosophy in 8 words or fewer? Teach students skills for a curious life.

What is your teaching philosophy in 8 words or fewer? Teach students skills for a curious life.

Icon for: What is something your students would be surprised to learn about you? I sing soprano in a chamber singers group.

What is something your students would be surprised to learn about you? I sing soprano in a chamber singers group.



Recent News Updates

John Sisko, VP and Dean of Faculty

John Sisko to Become Ripon College’s New VP and Dean of Faculty

The Ripon College community is pleased to welcome Dr. John Sisko as the new vice president and dean of faculty. He currently serves as dean […]

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Ripon College Response to Coronavirus | March 17, 2020

Dear Colleagues and Students, I write to update you about several actions we are taking today as well as our timeline moving forward for the […]

Rebecca Matzke

Rebecca Matzke named interim vice president and dean of faculty

Ripon College announced the appointment of Professor of History Rebecca Matzke as interim vice president and dean of faculty. Matzke, who has served on the Ripon […]