NIU Today | History Professor Beatrix Hoffman named 2022 Board of Trustees Professor

Spend a few minutes reviewing letters supporting History Professor Beatrix Hoffman for a Board of Trustee Professorship and you’ll quickly find you need more time—there were more than a dozen lengthy testimonials to the quality of both her teaching and scholarship.

Beatrix Hoffman has been named a Northern Illinois University Board of Trustees Professor.

Most importantly, it’s clear her students, colleagues and peers see her as a significant presence both in her field and in the classroom. During her varied career, she’s balanced scholarly accomplishment with mentoring and support in the classroom.

“Throughout my graduate education at NIU, Beatrix demonstrated a concern and interest in my mental health as an international graduate student navigating a new academic terrain,” said NIU graduate student Matilda Ansah. “She stands out because she shows genuine interest in the career trajectory of her students and makes substantial contributions to enable growth.”

Professor Hoffman earned her Ph.D. from Rutgers University and focuses her research on the history of the US health care system, health inequality and health justice. She’s a prolific instructor at NIU, having taught a variety of courses, including the history of health and medicine in the US; the history of Chicago; US Latino history; U.S. Constitutional History; and American History Since 1865.

Both nationally and internationally, you’ll find Professor Hoffman impacting her field. She’s published numerous articles in the US and Great Britain and is a sought after expert on US health care. She works to share her research with a variety of audiences, and to connect medical history with current events.

She’s earned research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities of Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, among others, and has served as guest curator for two exhibitions with the National Library of Medicine. Her third single-authored book, “Borders of Care: A History of Immigration and the Right to Health Care,” is under contract with the University of Chicago Press.

Martin Gorsky, Professor of History at the Center for History in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine says, “From an international perspective, Beatrix Hoffman is regarded as the ‘go to’ academic with expertise on the contemporary history of the American health systems in comparative context. In a field that tends to be nationally inward-looking, she is also a scholar who addresses a global health audience, both practically and intellectually.”

LeNie Adolphson first met Dr. Hoffman as an NIU undergraduate, taking her course in the history of medicine. Now a doctoral student in history at NIU, she says the professor has had a profound impact on her career and life.

“Dr. Hoffman embodies excellence in research, teaching, mentoring and, above all, tireless devotion to her students,” she notes. “She represents the finest qualities of Northern Illinois University and I can think of no one more deserving of such an honor.”

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