From Student to Teacher
Peter Haschke ’07 returns to campus to join the faculty
(August 15, 2013)
“I’m not a big fan of lecturing,” says Peter Haschke, UNC Asheville’s newest member of the political science faculty. “I think learning happens in the conversation, in the doing, in the reflecting, the articulating of the ideas, and I think you can do that better in a small classroom.”
The desire to teach in the right atmosphere is an important part of why Haschke decided to return to his alma mater. “I want to solve problems together with students, rather than telling them how somebody has solved that problem,” says Haschke. “That’s my approach – trying to do political science in the classroom.”
A native of Germany, Haschke first fell in love with North Carolina during a high school year abroad in Durham. He returned to Germany to finish high school and fulfill his military obligation, but was able to come back to the U.S. in 2003 to attend UNC Asheville. Haschke’s graduate studies at the University of Rochester meant enduring frigid northern winters; coming back to Asheville gives him a warm feeling for many reasons.
“As soon as I saw there was an opening at UNC Asheville, I was interested in coming back,” said Haschke. “Asheville is an amazing place to live, and UNC Asheville is a teaching-oriented institution – something that I really like."
Haschke shares a passion for human rights studies with his former professor and new colleague, UNC Asheville’s Belk Distinguished Professor of Humanities Mark Gibney. But while Gibney approaches human rights from the perspective of international law and legal remedies, Haschke’s focus is comparative political science – comparing the institutions and political cultures of different nations.
“One of the first courses I’m going to teach here is ‘Comparative Political Parties and Elections,’” said Haschke. “We’ll compare electoral institutions and political parties across countries – how they influence citizens’ behavior, how they influence what kind of outcomes you get in the political process.”