Dawsyn Wilson ’26  |  Published April 26, 2023

Alumni Network Comes Through

History major Larissa Pothoven from Quad Cities connects with QC history expert, comes away with career focus and memorable tour.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – Two Quad Cities residents with a passion for history connected at a “Cider with Classics” event at Monmouth College last fall. The meeting led to career advice and inspiration for junior Larissa Pothoven, as well a neat professional opportunity.

STEERED IN RIGHT DIRECTION: Larissa Pothoven '24 has benefitted from meeting alum Neil Dahlst... STEERED IN RIGHT DIRECTION: Larissa Pothoven '24 has benefitted from meeting alum Neil Dahlstrom '98, including the chance to sit behind the wheel of a John Deere race car.Pothoven, who came to Monmouth from Rock Island, Illinois, attended the classics event, where Neil Dahlstrom ’98, the archivist for Deere & Co. in adjoining Moline, was the featured speaker. Dahlstrom recently authored the critically acclaimed book Tractor Wars: John Deere, Henry Ford, International Harvester and the Birth of Modern Agriculture.

Before going to work more than 20 years ago for Deere, Dahlstrom majored in classics at Monmouth. During his recent campus visit, he discussed how a liberal arts education at Monmouth helped prepare him for a variety of professional opportunities.

Following the event, Pothoven, who is majoring in history and English, talked to Dahlstrom about his experience with the Butterworth Center & Deere-Wiman House in Moline, and also about the opportunities to work at other museums in the Quad Cities.

After that initial connection, Pothoven and Dahlstrom met again and talked about how Dahlstrom got into history and Deere. They discussed that many people at Deere have backgrounds in farming, but that Dahlstrom doesn’t – his background is in history and archival work.

“He talked about being open to new experiences, and that you never know where you’re going to end up,” said Pothoven, who was named Monmouth’s Freshman Woman of the Year two years ago.

As a result of the conversations, Pothoven had the opportunity to visit the John Deere archives, and she said she learned a lot during her tour.

“Something we talked a lot about when we visited the archives was that you can’t keep everything,” she said. “You need to determine what’s important – and not everything is important – and determine what has value and what you definitely need, and then get rid of all the extra copies or things that might be cool but aren’t relevant.”

She and Dahlstrom also talked about telling stories through archives.

“Taking those facts and statistics and making them into a story that people can connect with and care about is something that’s also important,” said Pothoven.

The trip and conversation with Dahlstrom helped Pothoven determine what she wants to do in the future. After college, she plans to get her master’s degree in museum studies, with the goal of becoming a museum curator. She is also interested in libraries and archives, as well as editing and publishing.

Back to News & Events

Did you know?

  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an educational garden and 6.7 acre farm. Students grow and harvest fruits and vegetables to sell at the local farmer’s market. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthcollege.edu/academics/only-at-monmouth/educational-garden-farm/" target="_blank">Garden & Farm</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We offer a certified Peace Corps Preparation program that gives Peace Corps bound graduates a leg up in the application process.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/peace-corps-prep/" target="_blank">Peace Corps Prep</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers unique academic minors in Global Public Health and Global Food Security for students who want to use their education to address global challenges. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-public-health/" target="_blank">Global Public Health</a></li><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-food-security/" target="_blank">Global Food Security</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 98% of Monmouth graduates were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/wackerle-center/career-services/" target="_blank">Career Preparation</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We’re no stranger to winning. Last year the Fighting Scots won Midwest Conference championships in Football, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball and Men’s Track and Field. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthscots.com/" target="_blank">Fighting Scots</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is proudly test optional. Applicants may choose whether or to submit SAT or ACT scores for admission and scholarship consideration. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/admission/apply/test-optional/" target="_blank">Test Optional</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an active Pipe & Drum Band. Each year on Scholar’s Day in April the bagpipers wake students up at 6:00 a.m. by playing in the residence halls!</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/music/pipe-band/" target="_blank">Pipe Band</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 99% of Monmouth students received some type of scholarship or financial assistance.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/types-of-aid/scholarships/" target="_blank">Scholarships</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p><strong>Monmouth College is the birthplace of the women’s fraternity movement. Pi Beta Phi, the first such collegiate women’s organization, was founded at Monmouth in 1867. It was followed three years later by Kappa Kappa Gamma. The two pioneering organizations today boast a total of 275 active chapters nationwide.</strong></p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/student-life/sororities-fraternities/" target="_blank">Sororities & Fraternities</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College covers the cost for all current students to get a U.S. passport. Unlock access to over 198 different countries! We’ll even help with the paperwork :)</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/study-abroad/" target="_blank">Study Abroad</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers several international trips each year during 2-week Scots Terms in January and May. Recently students have traveled to Botswana, Greece, Scotland, Japan, and more. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthcollege.edu/offices/global-engagement/" target="_blank">Scots Term</a></li></ul></div></aside>