Dr. Anthony Dutton
Anthony Dutton was raised in Valley City and has degrees from VCSU, UND and NDSU. He started as an adjunct instructor teaching Spanish, and now teaches History.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
For all intents, I’m a Valley City native. I’ve lived here since I was 12 years old, graduated from VCHS and VCSU before going on to a master’s degree at UND and a doctoral degree in history at NDSU. I’ve always considered myself sort of a generalist when it comes to education. My undergraduate was a Bachelor of Science in Education (both History and Spanish). For my Master of the Arts, I studied modern European history, and for my doctoral dissertation, I researched tourism in Baja California Sur, Mexico. I had an opportunity as a student at VCSU to spend a semester studying in La Paz, Mexico, and since then I consider myself a paceño as well.
What led you to become a professor at VCSU?
I sort of grew into teaching at VCSU, starting as an adjunct instructor in a couple of Spanish classes, then taking a position teaching Spanish and humanities before I went back to school for my doctorate. I knew I wanted to teach in higher education within a year or two of finishing my bachelor’s degree. Every time that I drifted away from Valley City for a couple of years, I would just be drawn back. I started teaching in my history position in 2009. I have always just loved learning, and so it’s a real pleasure to be surrounded by other people who also are passionate about learning, teaching, and VCSU.
What attracted you to Valley City State, and what’s kept you here?
One of the things that stands out to me about VCSU is how many people who work here also studied here and have committed their lives to this university. I go back about 20 years as a faculty member, and I can think of a good half a dozen people who I first knew when I was a student. Our roots go deep, and that has set the firm footing for this institution to grow so successfully over the past decades. Of course, that growth is also a result of the excellent staff, faculty and students who come here fresh and bring their talents. Every year, it is exciting to see the new arrivals, and at the end of each term, to celebrate the new graduates who leave VCSU as alumni.
What’s the biggest takeaway so far from your experience with VCSU?
My biggest takeaway is that this university is a community unto itself, with a group of students, faculty and staff who care deeply about each other and about the wider world we live in. We do our best when we work together. None of us are perfect and all of us are works in progress (even those for whom the progress is 20 years in the making and still counting), so it is by relying upon each other and being open to trial, error, and constant effort at improvement that we all move forward together.