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Marquis Scholar Daniel Rubin ’02 (Canoga Park, Calif.) is researching the American liberal tradition through a biographical study of Hubert H. Humphrey for an EXCEL project this summer.

Rubin is assisting Arnold Offner, Cornelia F. Hugel Professor of History, with his book-length study entitled Hubert H. Humphrey and the Tragedy of American Liberalism.

“Professor Offner has assigned me various biographies on Humphrey, and I am going through them and taking notes,” says Rubin, a history major. “I am also finding newspaper and magazine articles tracing Humphrey’s career, specifically the period from 1964-1968. After reading through the articles or books and typing up the notes, I present them to Professor Offner, so he can review them and offer his feedback.”

The ambitious project is going well, according to Offner. “Dan is a very resourceful student,” he says. “He’s very bright. He’s been going through reams and reams of documents, taking notes and doing a wonderful job. In fact, a lot of the research he’s doing will have a direct bearing on his honors thesis.”

Rubin, who ultimately plans a career as a history professor, finds this EXCEL work is helping him hone his research skills.

“This project is a wonderful stepping stone towards my future career plans. It’s giving me experience in the exact occupation that I want to pursue,” he says.

In particular, Rubin is learning how to tap into a wide variety of library resources such as government documents. In addition, it is fueling his love of history.

“I have always been fascinated by history,” says Rubin. “As opposed to the sciences, where things happen regardless of people’s actions, individuals truly guide and create history. I have always been interested in what makes people act in the ways they do, how those actions affect the future, and how their actions can be explained by the past.”

He adds, “I have been very pleased with the history program at Lafayette. I like the fact that it is a very small department and that I have been able to get to know most of the faculty.”

Rubin is particularly pleased about the research facilities at Lafayette and the sense of community.

“Lafayette’s character makes it possible for me to undertake a research project like this. Since it is so small and only for undergraduates, I am able to create close relationships with professors, and I am able to take advantage of opportunities that are only available to graduate students at larger universities. While the school is small, the library facilities are quite large and extensive. I am always surprised to find so many resources in our library. I have been able to find everything that I need for this project there,” he says.

Daniel Rubin belongs to the Phi Alpha Theta history honors society and is the historian for the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.

Categorized in: Academic News