Antoinnette Hudson was born a history buff. “History is something that I’ve always loved,” she said.
Growing up in the small town of Alexandria, Ala. – where her family has lived for generations – Hudson could often be found inside reading or watching the news while her siblings were outside playing games.
After receiving both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from JSU, Hudson parlayed that early curiosity into a teaching career. She has served as an instructor of history at JSU for the past 15 years.
Hudson has a special affinity for early American history, teaching both halves of the American History survey.
“The more you learn about American history, the more you will discover that so many of the things we’ve accomplished as a county have happened by accident,” Hudson said. “It all unfolds like a soap opera. I find a lot of humor in the Founding Fathers because we see these statues of them, but they were really regular men who did great things.”
Hudson recently accomplished something rather impressive herself when she was named a Minority Access National Role Model by the Maryland-based Minority Access, Inc. The organization assists colleges and universities, the federal government and agencies of other governments and corporations in implementing programs and providing services to recruit, enhance and retain underserved and underrepresented populations.
In keeping with its goals, the Minority Access National Role Model award recognizes “inspiring students, faculty, alumni, innovators and diverse institutions as role models to expand the pool of minority scientists, researchers and professionals in fields underrepresented by minorities.”
Hudson was given VIP status and special recognition during the 20th National Role Models Conference held in September in Maryland. The idea of being a role model for students is something that she takes very seriously.
“For the students, I want to carry myself like a role model because you never know who is watching you,” Hudson said. “You can influence a student’s life without ever knowing it. I always think about what my parents used to say – ‘let your talk be your walk.’ So even if I don’t think of myself as a role model, there are students who do, and I keep them in mind at all times.”
“You can influence a student’s life without ever knowing it. I always think about what my parents used to say – ‘let your talk be your walk.’ ”
Teachers, like everyone else, have good days and bad days. But what they all live for are the success stories – the opportunity to see the lives they have touched continue to inspire others.
“You put those in your heart and carry them around with you,” Hudson said. “It gives you something to try and build on.”
Being recognized as a minority role model filled Hudson with a sense of pride, not only because of what it means for her personally, but also for her community.
“In my community, which is largely African American,” she said, “there are older people who may not have gone to school. When you move forward and accomplish something they wanted but were unable to do, there is a shared sense of pride. What makes me especially proud of this award is that it’s not just for teaching but it’s for work in the community as well. It’s for people from all walks of life.”
For nearly 25 years, Minority Access has worked to increase diversity in all professions and industries, including higher education.
“Students, regardless of what minority they are, want to see someone like them leading a class,” Hudson said. “That’s true in universities as well as throughout society. The more we know about each other culturally, the more we will be attuned to one another. The better we understand one another, the better we can serve one another and our community.”
Are You Ready to Make History Your Future?