Caleb Finegan earned his doctorate (PhD, 1999) from the University of Florida with a concentration in colonial Latin American History. Dr. Finegan teaches courses in world history and Latin American history and is also the director of IUP’s Robert E. Cook Honors College.
After years of working as the university's director of civic engagement activities, he has returned full-time to the History Department and is also working as an active member of the Latin American Studies minor program, an initiative that he founded in 2002. Dr. Finegan is also the faculty adviser and founder of IUP's Alternative Spring Break program, which sends students out each spring break to do community service work throughout the country.
Most of his scholarship has focused on how parish priests who lived and worked in the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 managed their lives as cultural brokers between the Spanish crown and the predominantly indigenous communities they served. Dr. Finegan's current research centers on the medieval pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Every other summer, Dr. Finegan takes students to Spain to complete this 500-mile walking pilgrimage as an active part of his research project.
Dr. Finegan led a group of 12 brave and enthusiastic IUP students along the Camino de Santiago in Summer 2011 (LBST 499: The Road to Santiago). The group set out on May 16 from St. Jean Pied de Port on the French side of the Pyrenees Mountains and arrived into Santiago on June 17. On average, these IUP pilgrims walked 26 kms a day (about 16 miles); the longest day was 39 kms, around 25 miles. Dr. Finegan intends to lead another group of IUP students along the Pilgrimage in either Summer 2013 or Summer 2014 (HIST 481: The Road to Santiago).
Feel free to contact Dr. Finegan for more information about this amazing adventure. Again, contact him for information if you are interested in this unique study-abroad experience.