ASC history alumnus publishes book


Moving from linebacker to professor is rare and defies social expectations, but Tom Bruscino does not easily fit a social stereotype. He's a hard-hitting scholar, in the manner he once played football. Bruscino, Adams State College alumnus '99, recently published his much revised doctoral dissertation. Entitled, A Nation Forged in War: How World War II Taught Americans to Get Along, Bruscino's book details how the necessity of building an army of millions transformed regional, religious, and ethnically diverse people into "G. Is.," who saw themselves as Americans, fighting for a common cause. No maudlin apologist he, just this April Bruscino delivered a scholarly paper at the annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians in Washington, D. C., entitled "'Whiteness' and World-War II-Era America: The Limits of a Historical Concept," which like the book explores the tortured terrain of race and racism in the U. S., when Americans were supposedly united in fighting the Fuhrer.

This production of scholarship is just another part of the activity that is gaining Bruscino the attention of scholars of United States Military History and which led him to his current job as an assistant professor of military history at the United States Army School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Bruscino had earlier written Out of Bounds: Transnational Sanctuary in Irregular Warfare (2006). Currently, Bruscino is completing the research for a biography of Federick Funston, who is best remembered for capturing Emilio Aguinaldo during the Philippine Insurrection, and whose memoirs Bruscino has already edited, introduced, and published (2009). Bruscino earned his Ph. D. at Ohio University, completing his degree while current Adams State Provost Michael Mumper was head of the graduate school there.

None of Bruscino's success surprises Dr. Edward Crowther, chair of the department of history, government, and philosophy, the department in which Tom earned his degree. "I taught Tom when he was a freshman, and he was simply outstanding. Later, I directed an independent study he conducted on voting rights in the San Luis Valley, which became his first publication. There was no doubt that Tom was very bright and very driven to be successful. The best part now is watching Tom mature into both a great scholar and human being."

While at Adams State, Tom benefitted from the McDaniel scholarship program, which allowed him to devote his senior year to academics. Established by John McDaniel, emeritus professor of history, who Tom remembers as an especially inspirational and demanding teacher, the McDaniel Scholarships provides full-tuition for high achieving students. Coincidentally, Bruscino's scholarship was partially funded by and named in honor of Gary W. Gallagher, Adams STate alumnus '72, currently the John L. Nau Professor of Civil War History at the University of Virginia, and a highly-regarded, well-published scholar.

A native of Middleburg, Ohio, Tom moved with his family to Colorado in 1989. As a high schooler, Tom starred at Highlands Ranch High School, where his coach was none other than Marty Heaton, the current head football coach at Adams State. Tom, his wife Terrie Overmyer, Adams State alumna '99, and three children, Dominic, Anthony, and Mariana, make their home in Lansing, Kan.

"Adams State provided me a place to play football and its caring and competent professors pushed me to excel academically," recalls Tom. "And, of course, I met my wife and mother of my children at Adams State. It is a special place to me."