By Sadie All
Jan 26, 2022
Troy Fears has garnered a rather eclectic resume during the decades he’s spent in the job field. Some of that time, he was simultaneously earning a master’s degree from Indiana State in secondary administration.
Fears earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication from Purdue University in ’93 and earned his M.A. from State in ’99.
“The College of Education obviously has a history. It’s very well known across the country,” Fears said. “To have that expertise available to you is a real advantage.”
Fears taught high school English and Journalism during his graduate studies. He was able to take online and summer courses.
“The nice part about Indiana State is it allowed the flexibility to be able to work and have a family and whatnot, but still take classes,” Fears said. “That was very important for me as I was going through my career.”
Fears worked as a teacher for 18 years. He also took two executive director positions, one of which he serves in today, with CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Terre Haute. The other was with the United Way of the Wabash Valley. Despite no longer working in education, Fears says he still talks to some of his professors today.
“My role here at CANDLES is interesting in that it combines my education background and nonprofit [experience],” Fears said. “I couldn’t do it without the things that I learned at Indiana State and the connections that I’ve made. In grad school, your classes are a little smaller, but you have you meet people from all over the Midwest and to have those relationships still, even after all these years that I’ve graduated. It’s very meaningful.”
Not only did Fears earn his M.A. through State, he also had to renew his teaching license and was able to do so through accreditation at the university.
“To be able to take a class that’s affordable and you’re getting great instruction and getting to meet people who are in the same area of interest that you are was a tremendous advantage for me to be able to do that through Indiana State.”
CANDLES is the only Holocaust museum in the State of Indiana. It was founded by former Terre Haute resident and Holocaust survivor Eva Kor, who was taken to the concentration camp at Auschwitz with her family when she was 10.
For the past three years, the State of Indiana has declared Jan. 27 as “Eva Education Day” in honor of Kor. Jan. 27 is also recognized as International Holocaust Remembrance Day; it is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
Fears says his involvement at Indiana State University has helped broaden his experiences at CANDLES.
“It’s important for me, being from Terre Haute, to keep CANDLES a vibrant, nonprofit museum where we can grow throughout the years.”
The museum has partnered with Indiana State. Several students work or intern at the museum to help out. Classes also travel to the location to learn more about Eva Kor. Fears says it’s a relationship the museum aims to continue to grow throughout the years.