Dominique Daniel: the history of a historian

Daniel+has+been+working+at+OU+for+the+last+six+years+after+a+career+as+an+adjunct+history+professor+at+Wayne+State+University%2C+and+before+that%2C+as+a+professor+in+France.
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Dominique Daniel: the history of a historian

Daniel has been working at OU for the last six years after a career as an adjunct history professor at Wayne State University, and before that, as a professor in France.

Daniel has been working at OU for the last six years after a career as an adjunct history professor at Wayne State University, and before that, as a professor in France.

Daniel has been working at OU for the last six years after a career as an adjunct history professor at Wayne State University, and before that, as a professor in France.

Daniel has been working at OU for the last six years after a career as an adjunct history professor at Wayne State University, and before that, as a professor in France.

By Kaleigh Jerzykowski

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Ten years ago she was teaching American history at the University of Tours in France’s Noir Valley, but marrying a Michigander changed everything.

“That was my opportunity to change careers,” said Dominique Daniel, humanities librarian for the history and modern language departments and coordinator of archives and special collections at Oakland University.

Daniel has been working at OU for the last six years after a career as an adjunct history professor at Wayne State University, and before that, as a professor in France.

“American history is a popular topic with French students,” she said. “Everybody recognizes the role of the US in the world and wants to know more.”

“French people have a love/hate relationship with the US,” she laughed, saying that the French are familiar with American pop culture and politics, although they don’t necessarily agree with everything that happens on American soil.

Daniel received her doctorate in American history from the University of Paris Seven, with a concentration in United States immigration policy research.

Upon coming to America, she pursued a master’s degree in information science from the University of Michigan where she worked as a teaching assistant while working on her degree.

While teaching in her home country was exciting for Daniel, she truly cherishes her current job.

“I like the campus, and I like that the library is located right in the heart of [it],” she said.

In addition to working in Kresge’s archives where she is in charge of pulling photos, music and print materials requested for special events like the upcoming inauguration of President Hynd, Daniel said that she loves working the library reference desk.

“We work one-on-one to help students research specific projects they’re working on,” she said.

And for Daniel, the success of the students she assists is one of the most rewarding parts of her job.

In fact, each year, two students are awarded a $1,500 scholarship for demonstrating academic excellence in research papers with the Frank Lepkowski Undergraduate Research and Writing Award.

Daniel said that helping students excel in the research field is one of the things that make her job at OU so special, but working with so much new technology in the library is the cherry atop a career that’s already a perfect fit.

“People would expect librarians to say that books [are their favorite], but it’s the technology,” she said. “I work with technology more than I do books. That’s new for me.”

Daniel likes the diversity of tasks that she gets to work on at OU, including working in the archives, helping departments on campus find what they need in the library and doing private informational sessions with classes.

“Overall, it’s really enjoyable to communicate with students and help with their assignments,” she said.