07 Jun

A Conversation with Matt Dunne, Ph.D.

Professor of History

A lifelong New Englander, Professor Matthew Dunne joined Housatonic’s full-time faculty in 2015 after a stint as an adjunct professor at Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield, CT, his hometown. His journey to HCC began as a teaching assistant while earning his M.A. and Ph.D. at Brown University, and later as a visiting assistant professor at his alma mater, Stonehill College.

Today, at HCC, Matt teaches a variety of History courses, and it is his work with students that he finds the most rewarding part of his career.

“At Housatonic, I have the privilege to work with inspiring and talented students.  I strive to make the past come alive in my classes by making history relevant to students’ lives and experiences. My goal is to help students develop the ability to think critically about history and foster an appreciation for how the past shapes their lives, the Greater Bridgeport community, our country, and the world,” he said.

Recently Matt was recognized with the Board of Regents Teaching Award System-Wide as well as Campus-based, for Connecticut Community Colleges.

“It’s really humbling. I am deeply honored to receive this award, and it is a testament to the mentorship and guidance I have received from my Housatonic Community College colleagues, who make up such an exceptional community of teachers,” said Matt.

Outside of the classroom, Matt is actively engaged with the HCC community and its success. He serves as the faculty advisor for the Student Senate, and the Political Science and History Club. He is the HCC TAP coordinator for the roughly 700 students enrolled in CSCU transfer degrees. Matt serves as Chair of the Gen Ed subcommittee of the curriculum committee, and has served as a faculty advisor for the student advisory committee. Additionally, he helped to design a historical walking tour of downtown Bridgeport featuring historic points of interest all within a mile of campus.

Of course, the most memorable moments in his career involve students’ success.

“We have such brilliant students. I’ve taught at elite institutions and community colleges and I think that the biggest difference for our students is that they have more obstacles in their way sometimes. “It’s so rewarding to see them reach their full potential,” he said.

Hearing from students after they leave HCC is a highlight.

“Sometimes I’ll get an email saying ‘I got a history degree,’ which is really exciting, but I’m excited for all my students’ success. Hearing back from students affirms what I do in the classroom, it makes me feel like what we’re doing at HCC is really touching students’ lives, and it makes the job feel extremely rewarding,” he said.

Matt lives in East Longmeadow, MA with his wife and three daughters.