Dr. Earls’ Farewell to Mercyhurst

Isabella Lee, Staff Writer

The end of the academic year generally entails a variety of professors leaving or retiring. This year, it is Averill Earls, Ph.D. assistant professor of History that will be leaving the Mercyhurst community.  

Earls is heading off to be an assistant professor of History at St. Olaf College in Minnesota where she will be teaching classes such as Witchcraft, Sex in Mod-ern History and History of the British Empire. Earls made her official announcement of her departure to the History Depart-ment on April 21, much to the surprise and sadness of the department.  

Earls has been a massive part of the History Department for the past six years. She created the department’s Instagram and Snapchat accounts and has been advisor for the History and Irish Clubs, the latter since its inception. She has been an important part of History recruitment, specifically the History minor (which is only six History classes, if you are interested). She has taught iMU for the past three years and had plans to take students to Dungarvan and Germany before COVID derailed those plans. She has taught over 50 sections of 20 different courses, her favorites being Sex in Modern History, Holocaust, French Rev, Digital History Storytelling, Russian Film and Decolonization. The list goes on of how much she has done for this campus.  

I have been privileged to have taken three different classes with Earls (Sex in Modern History, Global Civil Rights and World History 2), and I am going to miss her teaching style and bru-tal sense of humor. I am going to always remember her office in Preston, where I have collected a variety of snacks ranging from Pop Tarts to applesauce cups. I am especially going to miss her dog, Madame Curie, who was and still is beloved by every stu-dent she comes across.  

Earls has asked me to share her parting words here, “The best thing about Mercyhurst is you: the students. Having you in class, advising you, being a brief inter-locutor in your lives. That’s what I will miss the most. My time teaching at Mercyhurst has been formative, and that’s because of all the students who were willing to experiment with Unessays, games, Ungrading, podcasting, and my various unorthodox methods. Thank you for your patience and good humor and mostly positive comments on YikYak and Rate My Professor.com. Thank you for your honesty and kindness and for fighting for what is right. Thank you for always surprising me.  

And since I can’t be here to do it myself, please welcome the Visiting Assistant Professor in History in the fall, and make her feel at home and appreciated. It’s hard starting a new job in a city far from home. Having students as kind and thoughtful as you will make it easier. I only hope to be so fortunate at St. Olaf. In the words of Anna Kendrick, ‘You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone.’ But I’m gonna miss you more.”