Congratulations to history major Jonathan Fuller who has been awarded one of the coveted library research grants from Friends of the Murray Library. Jonathan is a double major in Christian Ministries and History, and will be conducting research for a project titled "Going Home: A History of American Christian Zionism". The funds will allow him to travel to the Library of Congress and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Library. Congrats, Jonathan.
Every year the Messiah College History Department sponsors a “Career Night” in which we bring alums back to campus to talk about the ways that their undergraduate study of history has helped them in their workplace. We could not have been more excited about our speakers at this year’s event.
Beth Baggett graduated from the Messiah College History Department in 1997 and went on to pursue a career in the fashion industry. She has worked for Guess Jeans, Nautica, Sean John, and is currently the Vice-President for Sales–Men’s Division–at Perry Ellis International.
Caitlin Babcock graduated from the Messiah College History Department in 2010 and went on to pursue an M.A. in Peace and Conflict Resolution. She is currently Executive Management Assistant at the Nationalities Service Center in Philadelphia, a non-profit organization that helps new immigrants assimilate to American life.
Both Beth and Caitlin discussed how they transitioned from a Messiah College history major to their current jobs.
Beth talked extensively about how she has used the writing and research skills that she learned as a history major to rise in the fashion industry. (She currently heads a $40 million division–men’s retail–at Perry Ellis). She also discussed how history has helped her “to see the big picture” as she takes sales data and tries to weave it into a story about the products she is charged with selling. She credits her study of history and a lot of hard work with getting a leg up in this very competitive and global industry.
Caitlin uses her history major every day in her work with immigrants. Part of her job is to tell the stories of the immigrants she encounters in a fair and compelling way. She has learned to listen and empathize with those she encounters at work–something she learned listening to and empathizing with the dead people she encountered every day as a history major. The ability to craft written narratives has also been essential to her work as a grant writer for this non-profit agency.
This session reminded us that a solid undergraduate training in a liberal arts discipline such as history can prepare one for a variety of jobs. It was clear that Beth and Caitlin love their work. It was also clear that if they had to do it all over again they would still major in history.
The co-director of the “Documentary Film and History” program at Syracuse University just contacted me. He would love to see some Messiah College history majors apply to this program. Here is a taste of his e-mail:
Syracuse University offers a unique MA degree for History majors and minors. Currently in its tenth year, our “Documentary Film and History” program is designed for students interested in making documentary films on historical themes, offering them the opportunity to deepen their understanding of history while they acquire the practical skills of the filmmaker’s craft.
This fifteen-month program is a collaboration between the History Department and the renowned Newhouse School of Public Communications. Applicants do not need a media background. In addition to taking courses on film production, screenwriting, and historical methods, students choose courses that allow them to deepen their knowledge of a specific field within history. For their M.A. thesis, students make films on topics chosen in conjunction with their advisors. Recent films have examined topics such as the role of race in college football, the history of the video game, and the idea of the outlaw in country music.
Our alumni work at the History Channel, Focus Films, National Geographic, as well as for independent film companies such as Sundance. Some have also used the degree to pursue work in public history, or as a gateway to a Ph.D. program.
For more information on the program, please visit: http://newhouse.syr.edu/academics/degrees/masters/documentary-film-and-history.
For even more information contact:
M.A. in Documentary Film and History
Archaeology Intern: North Cascades National Park, Washington
Manager of Digital Collections: Detroit Historical Society, Detroit, MI
Story Booth Facilitator, StoryCorps, Chicago, IL
Public History Intern, Long Branch Plantation, Boyce, VA
Program Manager, Crossroads of the American Revolution, Trenton, NJ
Collections Manager, Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society, Onancock, VA
Historic Interpreter, Carpenter’s Hall, Philadelphia, PA
Research Intern, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, New York NY
Museum Educator, Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum, New York, NY
Editorial Assistant, Trust Center for Theological Schools, Wilmington, DE
Park Ranger Winter Internship, Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, CO
Oral History Research, The History Makers, Chicago, IL
Director of Education and Programs, New England Historic and Genealogy Society, Boston, MA
Associate Editor of Web Content and Social Media, American Historical Association, Washington D.C.
Museum Administrator, Historical Society of Ocean Grove, Ocean Grove, NJ
Consider stopping by the Career and Graduate School Expo on Monday and chatting with some potential employers and graduate school representatives. Many of you have been giving serious thought to how your history major might translate in the marketplace. An event like this give you a wonderful opportunity to chat with potential employers and “sell” your history degree and the transferable skills that come with it. I strongly encourage you to visit.
Are you thinking about graduate school? There will be representatives from several graduate schools, even some in history. For example, I just received this e-mail from Crystal Nielson. She will be at the Career and Graduate School Expo representing the University of Delaware’s Historic Preservation graduate program and is eager to chat with history majors. I am going to try to stop by and say hello to her and I hope you will too! Here is the e-mail from Crystal:
I just want to introduce myself briefly since I will be attending the Messiah grad school fair on Monday. I represent the School of Public Policy & Administration (SPPA) at University of Delaware, and we offer very 6 very well-respected, interdisciplinary graduate programs — I thought that the M.A. in Historic Preservation might be particularly interesting to some of your seniors studying history who might be interested in a career working with historic buildings and properties.
One of the great things about being a student in the Messiah College History Department is all the opportunity to learn outside of the classroom. Over the course of the next few weeks there is a lot going on in the life of the department and we invite you to take it all in.
On Thursday, October 23, 2014, Philip Deloria will be delivering the American Democracy Lecture, the most important lecture in the life of the department. Deloria is a professor of history and administrator at the University of Michigan and a scholar of native American history. His talk “American Indians in the American Cultural Imagination” promises to be an excellent talk. Learn more about it here. Also check out the Facebook “event” page.
Thursday, October 30, will be our annual “Faith and History” lecture. This year’s lecturer is Tibebe Eshete, lecturer in African history at Messiah. In the 1970s Tibebe was a young Ethiopian Marxist who was active in the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie. Here him describe his journey from Marxism to Christian faith and his understanding of the historian’s vocation. Stay tuned for more details. The lecture will be held in Boyer 335 at 4pm.
Finally, on November 4 the department will sponsor its annual “Career and Graduate School” event. This year will focus on careers. Our speakers will be two Messiah College history alums. Beth Baggett was a Messiah College history major who currently works as an executive in the New York City fashion industry. Caitlin Babcock, another Messiah history alum, works for a non-profit organization focused on the assimilation of new immigrants. It should be a great event. Stay tuned for more information. If you ever wondered what you can do with a history major you need to be at this event.
I hope you will join us for all of these events.
Some of you know Kevin Wagner. He is a graduate of the Messiah College History Department and currently teaches social studies classes in the history department, including HIST 407. I am pleased to announce that Kevin is the recipient of the prestigious Gilder-Lehrman Institute History Teacher of the Year for the state of Pennsylvania. He also had a 1 in 50 chance of being the National History Teacher of the Year. The award will be announced on November 1st.
Yet another reason to study history at Messiah College!
Read more here about Kevin’s amazing accomplishment.
But the Gilder Lehrman teacher of the award is not the only accolade Kevin has received this year. He is also recipient of the Patricia Behring 2014 Teaching of the Year Award for his role in National History and the Thomas Holtzman Jr. Educational Leadership Award for 2014.