Assistant Professor Aliza Wong
Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences
Like most young children, Aliza Wong's dreams changed more than once. At age 5, she wanted to be a hairdresser. This dream transformed into studying medicine when she decided to become a doctor. But she never dreamed that she would, one day, move from her childhood home in Portland, Oregon, to teach history in West Texas.
Wong's love of teaching is coupled with her respect for her students.
In her opinion, students are the best part of her job. Wong likes to encourage her students to think globally and outside of their comfort level.
"History isn't about regurgitation; I want students to think about the world with a historical context," Wong says. "When they read newspapers, watch TV, I want them to be able to understand current events within a historical framework."
Wong speaks passionately about travel because she believes it is important to have a global perspective. She travels to Italy at least once a year and has been all over the world including; Europe, Asia, Latin America and Australia.
"It is important to feel connected to a time and a place; you can visit an ancient temple and feel as though you're a part of that history," Wong says.
Be Who You Want to Be
Wong hopes to inspire students to think beyond financial gratification and pursue their passions. She says that it is important for students to take their time in determining their passions.
"We are lucky to live in a time where it is possible to make your own decisions and be what you want to be," Wong says. "I want students to take their education into their own hands."
Wong began teaching at Texas Tech in 2001. She is the recipient of many awards including the Alumni Association New Faculty Teaching Award, the Mortar Board Society's Outstanding Faculty Award, the Hemphill-Wells New Faculty Teaching Award, a Fulbright Junior Scholar Award and a Fulbright student research fellowship to Italy.
Her book, "Race and the Nation in Liberal Italy, 1861-1911: Meridionalism, Empire, and Diaspora," was published with Palgrave in October 2006.