Professor’s New Book Follows in the Footsteps of U.S. Soldiers of the Great War

It has now been a century since World War I began, but America’s role in the colossal struggle has been largely forgotten on both sides of the Atlantic.

Dr. Mark D. Van Ells, Professor in the History Department, aims to change that. His new book America and World War I: A Traveler’s Guide (Interlink Publishing Group, Incorporated, 2014) follows in the footsteps of “Doughboy”, as the U.S. soldier of the Great War was known—from the training camps of the United States to the frontlines of Europe.

The book traces America’s experience from the factors that led the nation to enter the war in April 1917 to the armistice in November 1918, describing the military buildup as well as the war’s major battles and campaigns.

It leads the traveler to the memorials erected in the Doughboys’ wake, as well as to the many places that remain unmarked.

Through their own words, we learn the private thoughts and personal memories of the young men and women who served in the war. Such eyewitness accounts give immediacy to descriptions of major battles and battlefields, memorials, museums, sites, cemeteries, and statues as well as how to get there.

Dr. Van Ells is a triple graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, receiving his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degree in history from the institution.

Queensborough, established in 1959, is located on a lush 37-acre campus in Bayside, New York. The College offers a rich liberal arts and science curriculum as well as career and pre-professional courses. Comprising one of the most diverse populations of any college in the U.S., over 16,000 students pursue Associate degrees or Certificate programs and another 10,000 students of all ages attend continuing education programs.

The College has several Dual/Joint Degree programs with its sister CUNY institutions: Nursing with Hunter College and York College; Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Sciences with York College; Criminal Justice and Forensic Accounting with John Jay College of Criminal Justice; and Education with Queens College. Over half of the faculty holds doctorates, compared with 21% of faculty in other community colleges nationwide. Queensborough has the distinction of being awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Challenge Grant in the amount of $500,000 and was recently named one of 12 colleges nationwide to lead the American Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) project—funded by Met Life—to support and expand effective student success strategies at community colleges.

The College’s cultural beacons, The Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archives; QCC Art Gallery; and The Queensborough Performing Arts Center (QPAC) continue to bring world-class exhibits, fine art and performances to the entire community and beyond. Other campus highlights include Queensborough’s Observatory, the largest in a college in Queens.