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Dr. Charles Postel: Pride of Sac State

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Posted: Thursday, November 13, 2008 12:00 am

Simply put, Charles Postel, assistant history professor, is one of the best things that has ever happened to Sacramento State. In a time in which we struggle for a positive image, we have a faculty member that Ivy League colleges would love to have.

This editorial is not suggesting that Postel is the only educator at this university who is worthwhile, far from it. We sit in the classrooms and have access to fantastic lecturers and devoted teachers on a daily basis.

Postel, however, is the face of our accomplishments and Sac State's devotion to education. Because of him, people on the East Coast and throughout the country are being exposed to Sac State.

The past 12 months have been a whirlwind of adulation and admiration for Postel.

He was awarded both the Bancroft Prize and the Fredrick Jackson Turner Award for his book, "The Populist Vision." Last week, he was given the President's Award at Sac State.

In a time in which Sac State is struggling with the pinch of the economy, Postel's achievement gives every Hornet something to be proud of.

Hopefully, Sac State will use his presence as an incentive and a recruitment tool to help build the history department.

Sac State has a great deal of excellent programs. Criminal justice, speech, journalism and ethnic studies each provide a quality education.

However, our school is not known for one standout program. Perhaps his notoriety could help Sac State sell the history and government departments as the crown jewel of the campus.

The Hornet would love to see Postel continue to teach at Sac State and end his career with us. Unfortunately, that may be an unrealistic expectation.

There is no concrete evidence to indicate Postel will leave when his contract expires. However, the demand for an educator with experience like his cannot be underestimated.

So even if Postel is just passing through, those who are truly grateful that he helped garner positive recognition for Sac State will never forget his achievements.

The Hornet owes Postel a sincere apology, as our coverage of him receiving the Bancroft Prize was nonexistent. We admit that we dropped the ball on this momentous campus event. Words fail when trying to describe the magnitude of his accomplishment. But we are in the business, so here it goes: This is friggin' huge!

It is for the most outstanding dissertations in the areas of American history and/or diplomacy. You know what other campuses have Bancroft winners? The University of Notre Dame, Columbia (obviously) and MIT. Sac State is in some exclusive company. Our campus is getting national recognition for something positive.

This achievement is solely Postel's, but the Hornet would still like to bask in the reflective glory of his achievements.

The Hornet highly recommends that any student who has the opportunity to take one of Dr. Postel's classes next semester. We have a tremendous resource at our disposal, make the most of it.

The State Hornet Staff can be reached at opinion@statehornet.com

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