Ellen Tillman


History and Spanish


I graduated from Millikin University in 2002 with a Bachelor’s degree in History and Spanish. I went immediately on to the Ph.D. program at the University of Illinois, where I am now planning to take my doctoral exams and to apply for funding for my advanced dissertation research. I look back on my years at Millikin with incredible fondness, not for nostalgic reasons,but for the extreme openness and availability of the faculty while I was there and in every year since I graduated.

There really are no words to measure the eight years of support that I have experienced and continue to experience from Millikin’s history faculty. Not only did I never have a question left unanswered, or a research idea with which my professors there did not aid and encourage me (going WELL above and beyond what I have seen from most faculty elsewhere), but I was able to cultivate my early years of higher education in an open and open-minded atmosphere that encouraged my ideas, my creativity, my way of thinking--even while the faculty subtly forced me to refine my skills.

Every time I realize what a murky and confusing place graduate school is, I look back on my years at Millikin and realize that I would not be so successful had it not been for Millikin. The history program and the faculty in that department took my budding talent in writing and analysis and taught me to express my ideas and conclusions in ways that sometimes impress even my superiors at the University of Illinois. Millikin was the foundation of my entire career in history and writing, and all the years I have taught college level history at University of Illinois have been inspired by and often even modeled on the teaching of Millikin faculty.