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John Hagman

Ranked Adjunct Associate Professor

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John Hagman earned his BA in history from the University of Washington and his MA in history from the University of Chicago, where he passed his orals and became a doctoral candidate.  For three years he taught history and philosophy at Coe College in Iowa, and then moved into adult literacy and developmental education.  He enrolled at Seattle University earned a second master’s degree, this one in developmental education and reading instruction.  He spent the next two decades teaching academic and life skills to adults in community-based organizations, community colleges, reservations, maximum and medium-security prisons, and the King County Jail.  In 1997 he began teaching history at Cornish College, and he returned to United Indians of All Tribes, where he had taught previously.  At United Indians he became the Education Coordinator at the I-WA-SIL Youth Program, an organization founded by Bernie Whitebear to serve homeless Native youth in downtown Seattle.  He later served on I Wa Sil’s board, and was twice named Board Member of the Year by Boys and Girls Clubs of King County.  For the last several years he was on the board of the Kruckeberg Family Garden Foundation, and he continues to serve on the American Federation of Teachers State Committee on Human Rights.  He remains connected with Native American foster families, and with the transitional housing movement, which develops viable living situations for inmates newly released from State prisons.  At Cornish he teaches Big History, medieval and modern history, Headlines and History, Hollywood and History, and Life and Art by the Numbers.  He is the author of several texts and articles related to adult literacy and developmental education.  He has developed a taxonomy for learning and studying history, and for applying historical knowledge in citizen initiatives. He has twice received Cornish’s Excellence in Teaching Award.  In classes and conversation, he is known for making history as fresh and exciting as yesterday’s newspaper.