After studying the British, French and German soldiers of World War I for more than ten years and writing nearly 400 pages on the topic, Sterling College Assistant Professor Chad Gaudet has earned his Ph.D. in history from Bowling Green State University. The degree, however, which was made official in December and announced last week, only confirms the desire that made him pursue a doctorate in the first place: Dr. Chad Gaudet loves to learn.
“What I get to do is ideal,” Gaudet said. “When you teach, you learn things. I get paid to learn, and the more I learn, the less I know.” So, although his dissertation, titled “Baptisms of Fire: How Training, Equipment, and Ideas about the Nation Shaped the British, French, and German Soldiers’ Experiences of War in 1914,”was “good enough” to earn the degree, Gaudet plans to continue researching his topic. “I hope to one day turn this into a book,” he said, “or, at the very least, journal articles. I find it very interesting how the three countries’ different perceptions of nationalism influenced their soldiers. Germany’s view of war was that ‘the ends justify the means.