Dr. Claudine Cutchin
A native of France, Dr. Cutchin earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in foreign languages from the Universite de Caen in France as well as a second Master’s degree and a Ph.D. in history from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She came to Oakland City University in 1994 as Registrar and adjunct faculty before becoming full time faculty in 1999 and Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences in 2008.
In addition to her French accent, anyone who meets Dr. Cutchin cannot help but notice her energy, passion for history, and love for chocolate. Although her main areas of interest are modern America, Nazi Germany, the French Revolution and Napoleonic Era, she teaches survey courses and upper level courses as diverse as Ancient Egypt, Plains Indians, and Ancient Rome. Dr. Cutchin is also known for teaching less conventional courses such as “History and Fiction in Movies” and “History of Piracy.” Above all, Dr. Cutchin loves being in the classroom and she is just as enthusiastic about teaching general education courses as she is courses for her social science majors. “I want to teach the required survey courses. I know many students in these classes have little interest in history. My challenge every semester is to make students understand that history is both interesting and relevant to their lives. After all, history is about people, people like us. It is very rewarding when non history majors tell me that they have discovered they like history after all.” Twice recipient of the OCU Teacher of the Year Award, Dr. Cutchin is a student-centered educator who believes that the Oakland City University environment is perfect for those who want the benefits of a quality education with the atmosphere of a small campus where everyone knows each other: “I studied at two large universities but bigger does not mean better and there are less opportunities for personal contact with students. Here, my door is never closed.”
In addition to teaching, Dr. Cutchin is the co-author of a play “Voices Heard: Girl Child Soldiers,” performed at Oakland City University in 2008 and copyrighted with the Library of Congress. She is also a member of the editorial review board of Oakland City University’s Journal for Liberal Arts and Sciences for which she has written two articles: “Victims of Modern Warfare: Girl Child Soldiers” co-authored with an OCU graduate and “The Altamont Festival—December 6, 1969: The Making of a Myth,” both presented at Oakland City University’s annual research symposiums. She is a member of the American Historical Society.
Dr. Cutchin is married to Dr. Jeffery Cutchin, Dean of Olney Central College, and they have a daughter Adelaide who plans on attending Oakland City University. She and her family live outside of Allendale, Illinois, in an old historic home which they share with a variety of animals, including many rescues. Beyond their love for animals, the family enjoys traveling abroad, vacationing on Miami Beach and boating on Kentucky Lake.