By: Liam Watts
Picture this scene. Curtains draw closed, and the audience begins to shuffle as the lights rise. It is the end of the first act. Following a short intermission, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will continue with the smash number Poor, Poor Pharaoh. Our stage manager, Julie Hufstetler, is readying her crew when she notices something odd. The star of the next number, Pharaoh, is nowhere to be found. She begins to search for him. Meanwhile, somewhere offstage, a commotion is occurring. At the center of this disturbance, she finds her missing Pharaoh…and he is being arrested. In a miraculously poor series of events, an officer attending the show has recognized him from an outstanding warrant. Despite much pleading, Pharaoh is arrested, and the show must go on. Our stage manager rushes to find an understudy who can fill the part. Just another normal day in performing arts, and just another normal day for Professor Julie Hufstetler.
Despite being one of the newer faculty members at Oklahoma Wesleyan University, some of you will already know Prof. Hufstetler from history classes such as American History, Western Civilization, European History, or American Law. Others of you will know her from the Texas A&M jerseys she sports around campus. A few of you will even know her from the European history trip she is co-hosting with Dr. Fisher in Summer of 2019. However, for those of you who do not know her, allow me to introduce you.
In her own words, Prof. Hufstetler “hated school” growing up. So, it came to both her and her family’s surprise when she went to college, got her bachelor’s degree in political science, and then continued to finish a master’s degree in history. What was even more surprising, however,
was her discovery of how much she loved teaching, which is why, after graduating with her master’s, Prof. Hufstetler went on to work in a private school for five years.
High school can be a volatile environment, and Prof. Hufstetler has plenty of stories from this time. (Ask her about the time she was her “little sister’s world history and theater arts teacher” in high school!)
It was only three years ago that she moved to Bartlesville with her husband Steven, and her two children, Owen and Eleanor, when Steven took a position with Conoco Philips. It was then that she saw an opening in Oklahoma Wesleyan University’s history department, and well… the rest is history.
Besides teaching, Prof. Hufstetler has a number of other interests and hobbies. Her children are happily the foremost of these, but she also enjoys running in races to stay active. She has victoriously completed a marathon and numerous half-marathons. Additionally, theater and the performing arts are her continued passion. As mentioned earlier, she has worked both as a stage manager and an actor in theater troupes and productions. She will also be the first to tell you that “some shows go better than others.” She has also nurtured a talent for music most of her life. She played drums in high school, and today you just might find her singing at First Baptist Church.
For current students, Professor Hufstetler offers this piece of advice: “What you do now will impact your future. Be wise, [because] your choices will continue to affect you forever.” Who better would know about the consequences of history than our very own history professor? So, next time you’re debating over a difficult decision, maybe looking backwards will help you move forwards.