At what point in your college career did you realize that History was the major for you?
I minored in history. I chose to study history from the beginning of my college career. I come from a family of history professors and have always enjoyed learning about the past.
Of all your experiences in pursuing your degree, what was the greatest lesson you learned?
That waiting until the last couple of weeks to work on the History Colloquium group assignment is a bad idea! Especially in group work, it's a good idea to start early, since a time crunch can be all the more stressful when interpersonal drama is added to the mix (That said, the project turned out really well).
How has having your degree led to your career or shaped your life?
I do advocacy work in Washington, DC. It is very helpful for me to have an understanding of the way our government works (hence my political science degree), but studying the current makeup of the government is only one part in this understanding. Learning about how it became the way it is requires an understanding of history. I can safely say that studying history gives me a better perspective on the U.S. government, which in turn helps me do my work.
If there is one History class you could take over again, what would it be? Why?
The Civil Rights History Class by Dr. Green (currently the superintendent of the Minneapolis schools) was spectacular. Dr. Green was able to give a wide perspective of the American Civil Rights Movement, and show that it was a centuries-long effort, not just something that happened in the 50s and 60s. His suggestions (role plays) of how racism came about were insightful and interesting. I wish everyone could take the class.
What do you miss most about your college experience?
I miss the flexibility of being able to dictate (most of) my schedule (i.e. I miss sleeping in).
Do you have any advice for current history majors/minors at CSB/SJU?
Make sure to focus on your writing skills! History classes provide great opportunities for writing, and the ability to write well will open the doorway to a many jobs and careers.