Affiliate Faculty[email protected]
Affiliate Faculty[email protected]
William Parker III
Affiliate Faculty[email protected]
We are proud to celebrate the contributions of our Emerita/Emeritus Faculty
Emeritus Professor, B.A. SUNY Fredonia, M.A., Ph.D. Ohio State University
Emerita Professor, B.A. University of Washington, M.A., M.Ed. University of Arizona, Ph.D. University of New Mexico
Emeritus Professor, B.A. Albion College, M.A. Western Michigan University, Ph.D. Wayne State University
Emerita Assistant Professor, Ph.D. University of Denver
Emeritus Associate Professor, B.A., M.A. University of Denver
Emeritus Professor, B.A., M.A., Boston University, Ph.D. University of Colorado
Emeritus Associate Professor, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. University of California, San Diego
Emerita Senior Lecturer, B.A. Ohio Wesleyan University, M.A. Xavier University
Emerita Professor, B.A. University of Minnesota, M.A., Ph.D. University of Wisconsin
Emeritus Assistant Professor, B.S. University of Kansas, M.A. San Jose State University, Ed.D. University of Northern Colorado
Emeritus Professor, B.A., M.A. Loyola University of Chicago, Ph.D. University of New Mexico
Emeritus Professor, B.S. Concordia Teachers College, M.A. DePaul University, Ph.D. University of Colorado
MSU Denver honors the life of Thomas McInerney, Ph.D., professor emeritus of History.
April 15, 2021
Thomas McInerney, Ph.D., professor emeritus of History, died last Aug. 26 at age 80.
After earning a B.A. at Duquesne University and an M.A. at Columbia University (where he met his wife), McInerney moved to Denver in 1969 to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of Denver. In 1982, Dr. Mac – as his students called him – joined the Metropolitan State University of Denver Department of History, where he worked until retiring in 2019, stopping only when his health made it difficult for him to continue teaching.
The Brooklyn Dodgers baseball aficionado and passionate presidential-history scholar was known for teaching through stories – not only in the classroom but with his children and grandchildren, strangers and hospital nurses, telling them, “I am an educator, not just for my job but in everything that I do.” McInerney believed the best way to understand history was to relate to it and was always willing to share his knowledge with anyone who wanted to listen.
“Dr. McInerney used his rich experiences to enliven his lectures, and many students describe him as one of the best storytellers they ever met,” said Matt Makley, Ph.D., professor of History. “It was not unusual to walk by a classroom where Tom was teaching and see students gathered close, enthralled with the lectures of a brilliant historian.
“His quick wit, love for a good pint of Irish stout and jovial nature will be greatly missed.”
McInerney taught or studied at universities on three continents, traveled to over 65 countries and all 50 states and found himself near the center of U.S. politics during a pivotal time in history. In the 1960s, he served as the advance man for Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, traveling with him throughout New York City and state. McInerney marched with Kennedy on St. Patrick’s Day 1968 after the senator announced his presidential candidacy and attended his funeral at St. Patrick’s Cathedral less than three months later.
A recipient of several honors throughout his lifetime, McInerney was most proud to have been named a Fulbright scholar. During his 1990-91 fellowship in Hungary, he held the distinction of being the first U.S. professor to teach at what was then known as Karl Marx University (now the Corvinus University of Budapest), in addition to teaching English at a middle school.
“Dr. McInerney’s Fulbright fellowship in Hungary benefited our students and brought credit to MSU Denver,” said Steve Leonard, Ph.D., professor of History. “He was a kind and gentle person of considerable intelligence.”
McInerney held tremendous affection for his Roadrunner family, the words on his University bio page saying it best: “Believer in faith, family and the American Way. Respect varieties of political thought and the rights of expression. Love all children and some animals. Students are high on my list. STUDENT FRIENDLY and AVAILABLE.”
His family says McInerney would want his colleagues to know how much he loved them, what an important role they played in his life and how grateful he was for their conversation, knowledge and friendship over the decades. And while he would never have said an academic’s life was easy, he would have assured anyone listening that it was worth it.
MSU Denver Mourns the Passing of Paul Sidelko, Ph.D., Professor of History
October 26, 2020
Paul Sidelko, Ph.D. – a beloved son, uncle, brother, friend, professor and colleague – passed away last week at the age of 53. Sidelko was a professor of history at Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he taught courses on medieval Europe, Islamic cultures and the modern Middle East.
A dedicated academic with a passion for history, Sidelko spent more than 20 years in higher education. Prior to joining MSU Denver, he taught at the University of Toronto, the University of New Mexico, the University of Colorado Denver, the University of Louisville and Grand Valley State University. He accepted a position as an assistant professor with MSU Denver in 2006 and was promoted to full professor in August 2019.
Sidelko had a brilliant intellect, which he joyfully shared with students. He was never afraid to express himself, especially when it came to supporting MSU Denver students. Former student Cardinal Tomczyk described Professor Sidelko as “an inspiring intellectual with a great love of his chosen subject.”
“He was open and opinionated yet not only willing to listen to his students but genuinely interested in what opinions they had to offer,” Tomczyk said. “This made class time a pleasure.”
Sidelko dedicated himself to developing study-abroad opportunities, and his own work took him to the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Israel, Morocco, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Sidelko also served as the treasurer of the Fulbright Association of Colorado and was a member of the Mediterranean Seminar, the Medieval Academy of America and the Middle East Studies Association.
He was also fundamental in helping to shape the Individualized Degree Program at MSU Denver. He helped countless students carve unique paths to IDP degrees. One of his IDP students, Naweed Hoshmand, said, “He was always supportive and never really stopped advocating for us to use our voices and say what we felt must be said.”
As a researcher, Sidelko focused on medieval and modern periods of history in the Middle East and North Africa, including Turkey and the Mediterranean. Topics that drew his focus included the Arab Spring, the complex diversity of Islamic societies, Muslims in North America, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Iran and Iraq – as well as the Middle East during WWI, WWII and the Cold War. He authored several publications and often presented his research on campus and around the world.
Sidelko earned a bachelor’s degree in Medieval Studies with emphasis on history from Swarthmore College in 1989, followed by a master’s degree in Medieval Studies, Latin, French, German and Arabic at the University of Toronto. His studies culminated with a doctorate in Medieval European and Islamic History, also from the University of Toronto, in 1998.
He is survived by his parents, William and Delores; his brother John and sister-in-law Rebecca; nephew Clayton; and dogs Thayni and Walis. The Sidelko family and Paul’s many friends ask anyone who would like to remember Paul to give a donation in his name to support refugee students and immigrant services at MSU Denver.
Giving to the MSU Denver Foundation online is secure and easy, and since the foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization registered and in good standing with the IRS, your gift is tax-deductible in the manner and to the extent provided by law. Please consult your tax advisor. Thank you for supporting our students and programs. Please note: MSU Denver Corporate Cards may not be used.
History Department Contact Information
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Central Classroom Building, Room 211
Department of History
1201 5th St., Campus Box 27
Denver, CO 80204