Mary Furgol, Adjunct Faculty
Mary Furgol grew up in Fife, Scotland, the birthplace of Adam Smith and Andrew Carnegie and came to the United States in 1987. She earned a PhD in History at the University of Edinburgh after completing her MA with first class honors there. Her PhD dissertation focused on the problems of poor relief in industrializing societies and has sections on the roles of women in philanthropy and on the transatlantic exchange of ideas on poverty. She also graduated with distinction in history and religious education from the Craiglockhart College of Education which was housed in a building where World War One soldiers recuperated during World War One, including the poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen who experienced some of the first use of psychological counseling for shell shock.
From a young age she was drawn to social history and is intrigued by the social, economic and medical treatment of the individual, neighborhood and communities during the period of industrialization. In 2003 she was awarded an NEH grant on Cities in a Comparative Cultural Context during which she did a comparative study of the treatment of poverty in Glasgow, Boston, New York and Baltimore in the 19th century.
Mary has taught at American University and Mount Saint Mary’s University and currently directs the Montgomery Scholars Interdisciplinary Honors Program at Montgomery College, Rockville. She has also presented for the Smithsonian Campus on the Mall program and the Johns Hopkins University Odyssey program. Some of her best experiences in teaching have been in facilitating honors seminars on the History of Medicine and Philosophy of Healing, which she team-taught with a philosophy professor; Victorian Women, where the culminating activity was the hosting of a Victorian tea – butler and corsets included; World War One; and Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. In 2003 she was honored to receive the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Maryland Professor of the Year.