Daniel P. Kotzin

Daniel P. Kotzin

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Daniel P. Kotzin
Professor of HistoryProgram Director, International Studies, Department of Inter·disciplinary Studies
Office: Main 229
(716) 880-2318

About Daniel P. Kotzin

I have been passionate about history since I attended the University of California at Irvine, where I obtained a bachelor's degree in history. As I continued my graduate studies in history at New York University in pursuit of a Ph.D., I became increasingly interested in American ethnic history. More recently, I have been fascinated with the American Civil War, especially the experience of soldiers. My current research project combines my interest in ethnic history with my interest in the Civil War as I am researching the experience of Irish-American soldiers during the Civil War.

When my family and I moved to Buffalo, we fell in love with the city. My family and I enjoy the theatre, museums, and kayaking. I am also a huge baseball fan (Go Angels!). 


“Navigating through the Civil War with Diaries in Hand: The Dairies of Two Company Clerks in the 17th Wisconsin Infantry,” The History Teacher (forthcoming).

“Writing Their Lives During the Civil War: The Diaries of Irish-American Soldiers in the Union Army,” in Diary as Literature, edited by Angela Hooks (Vernon Press, 2019), 15-27.

“How Students Can Learn the Research Process through a Class Blog,” The Teaching Professor (July 14, 2019), 1-3.

“Constructing Irish-American Memories of the Civil War: The Memoirs of Irish-American Veterans,” paper presented at Primary Source: Memory and Identity across Time and Space, Fontbonne University, St. Louis, Missouri, May 17-19, 2018. 

Seminar Leader, “Relating Historical Concepts to the Lives of Students,” at Teaching History: Fostering Historical Thinking Across the K–16 Continuum, University of California at Berkeley, May 1–2, 2015.

“Writing Jewish Lives during the American Civil War: The Letters of Jewish Soldiers,” paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Organization of American Historians, St. Louis, MO, April 16-19, 2015. 

Judah L. Magnes: An American Jewish Non-Conformist (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2010)


A core concept in the mission statement of Medaille College is to “develop empowered individuals.” How do we do that here? One way, I would argue, is by creating a culture of intellectual humility.

I believe in the power of humility because I have seen it in my classroom. Consistently, the most successful students in my classes are not those with the highest intelligence, but rather those with a character trait we call humility - the characteristic of thinking that you are no better than someone else.

A demonstration of humility, whether it be in the classroom, in the workplace, in the home, or in the political sphere, is a life-affirming act, one that seeks engagement with others, one that values others, and one that values the core principles of democracy. 

A humble person instills confidence because they seek the best ideas, they seek the best answers, not necessarily answers that are self-serving. At the same time, a humble person instills confidence because they value people, and when people feel valued they are more likely to support and help those who value them. 


International Studies and "Dialogues" General Education Program


Ph. D., American History, New York University, 1998
Master of Arts in History, New York University, 1991
Bachelor of Arts in History, University of California at Irvine, 1989

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