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History at St. Thomas: an important part of a liberal arts education and valuable preparation for a variety of careers.


What are recent graduates doing now?

Trevor Hoyt (2012) is enrolled in flight training for the Navy in Pensacola, FL. A member of the Naval ROTC program while enrolled at the University of St. Thomas, he chose a history major so that he could become a more well rounded person and effective leader. 

Julia Floyd (2012) chose a major in history and a minor in sociology as part of her preparation for a career in law. She will be attending the University of St Thomas Law School in the fall.

Andrew Jacobs (2012) will be attending Indiana University (Bloomington) in the fall to earn an M.A. in history. He credits the excellent faculty mentorship he received in the history department and his study abroad experiences for fostering his desire to pursue an advanced degree in history.

Andrew Franet (2012) plans to become a certified paralegal and possibly get a master's degree in Public Administration. He will be working as a literacy tutor for the Americorps' Minnesota Reading Corps this coming year.

Click here for more information about careers in history.

Learning opportunities outside of the classroom:

Internships. The history department does not have a required internship program. However, history majors and minors have a number of opportunities for internships at local county historical societies, the Minnesota Historical Society, local non-profits, and government offices. Here are two examples:

Andrew Franet (2012) worked for Representative Debra Hilstrom at the Minnesota House of Representatives in Saint Paul in Spring Semester 2012.  Andrew said this about his experience: “You apply the skills of a historian by researching and analyzing legislative documents much like you would analyze a historical document.” 

Fabio Anifrani (2013) was selected to participate in the ACTC Museum Fellows program sponsored by the Minnesota Historical Society with Legacy funding from the state of Minnesota. In fall semester, students will take a course in museum studies, meet experts in the field, and visit some of the country’s premier museums. In spring semester, they will participate in an internship helping local urban high school students prepare their History Day projects for the Minnesota Historical Society.

Study abroad. Any student of history knows that historical people and events are best understood within their specific places and times.  Unfortunately, we do not have a time machine to take us back in history, but we can at least go to the places where these historical people lived and where these events happened and experience the social, geographic, and cultural settings that shaped history as we know it.

Andrew Jacobs (2012) says that his best experiences as a history major at St. Thomas were the two study abroad adventures he undertook with Dr. Ivancica Schrunk: the first, a course in Rome; the second, an archeological dig in the Adriatic Sea:

"Seeing all that Rome has to offer first hand was a once in a lifetime experience. Actually doing archeological work on St. Klement in the Adriatic Sea near Croatia was something I never imagined myself doing, and I am so glad I did. Digging at the site of a former Roman maritime villa was incredibly rewarding. Working with material sources we found at the site and then attempting to analyze and contextualize them was something unique and unlike the usual kinds of history done in libraries, archives and classrooms."

UST’s International Education Center provides students with a wide range of options for studying history in other parts of the world.

Conference Presentations. Periodically, our history majors have opportunities to present their research in an academic conference setting. For example, this year five of our majors attended the Symposium for History Undergraduate Research at Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS. The theme of the symposium was “Learning From the Past, Preparing for a Future.” Here is a list of the students and their presentation titles:

  • David Yates – “Nullification Reconsidered”
  • Margaret E. Whitacre – “Unavoidable and Acceptable Tyranny: The Presidencies of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt”
  • Matt Keliher – “Prohibition Era Constitutional History”
  • Renate Hohman – “The Constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”
  • Landon Rick – “Growing a Beard: Developing Charles Beard’s Narrowed Economic Constitutional Interpretation”

Under the guidance of their faculty mentor, Dr. Tom Mega, these students successfully applied for spaces on the conference schedule, practiced their presentation skills, and supported one another at their conference presentations. They also enjoyed meeting other students like themselves from across the country who are passionate about the study of history.

Faculty research, presentations, publications, etc.

Dr. Patti Kameya presented a paper entitled, "Eccentrics, Empire, and National Identity: the Canonization of Kinsei kijinden (Eccentrics of our times)," in Toronto at the Association for Asian Studies annual meeting. The paper demonstrates how the publication of the eccentric biography collection Kinsei kijinden in modern times was closely linked to the study of Japanese language and heritage, rather than to eccentricity per se. She concludes that eccentric biographies from the earliest days of the Japanese Empire were closely tied to discussions of national identity.

Dr. Hasan Karatas recently submitted an article to be published this summer entitled, "The Ottomanization of Khalwatiya: A Political History Revisited." The article mainly discusses the incorporation of a Muslim mystical order named Khalwatiya to the Ottoman enterprise in the fifteenth century. It challenges the assumption that the incorporation process was a smooth one and devoid of conflicts. Besides underlining the tensions and negotiations within the order during the incorporation process, he revisits some of the common assumptions about the politics and religion in the fifteenth century Anatolia."

Dr. Anne Klejment's article on Thea Bowman, FSPA, was published by Salem Press in their Great Lives from History series. Bowman was an African-American Franciscan nun noted for her prophetic message and her empowerment of African-American Catholics. Sister Thea’s community is examining evidence of her sanctity to consider the possibility of presenting her cause for canonization to the Vatican.

Dr. Klejment is also the author of "Dorothy Day and Cesar Chavez: American Catholic Lives in Nonviolence," published in the summer 2011 issue of US Catholic Historian 29 (3):67-90. The article discusses the shared social and religious characteristics that resulted in their dedication to working for social justice.

Dr. Thomas Mega and Maggie Whitacre (History major) continue to work on a public history project involving the Gainey Center, the Owatonna campus of the University of St. THomas.  They are currently finishing up an examination of the ownership of the property from 1851 to the present.  The next step will be to gather information needed to develop an historical interpretation of the Gainey residence.  

Dr. Mega is also conducting research into the last colonial legislature in Pennsylvania. The completed project will explore the ways that the Assembly tried to maintain its legitimacy in the wake of crumbling British power in late 1775 and the first seven months of 1776.

Dr. Ivancica Schrunk is the co-author of a book chapter, "The Brioni Archipelago: Functional Identity of a Historical Landscape," published in the book, Landscapes, Identities and Development, ed. Z. Roca, P. Claval and J. Agnew (Ashgate, 2011). She also is the author of one and co-author of another entry in the Encyclopedia of Ancient History, ed. Bagnall et al. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011). Her article, "Spiritual Economy and Spiritual Craft: Monastic Pottery Production and Trade," is published online on the website of Minnesota in Egypt, ed. S. McNally.

Dr. Scott Wright has been writing several essays for the Great Lives From History series published by Salem Press. His most recent essays focus on the following historical figures: boxer Max Baer and Rabbi Harold Kushner (for the Jewish Americans volume); explorer James Beckwourth, boxer Floyd Patterson and black abolitionist David Walker (for the African Americans volume); boxer Art Aragon and politicians Dennis Chavez and Edward Roybal (for the Latinos volume). He is also in the process of completing an essay on the Japanese American rights activist Fred Korematsu for the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders volume of the Great Lives From History series.

What jobs are possible with a History major?

  • High school history or social studies teacher
  • Museum exhibit or education specialist
  • Historical society researcher/manager
  • Cultural resources manager
  • Historic preservation specialist
  • Documentary editor or producer
  • Archivist
  • Curator
  • Public records manager
  • Librarian
  • Legislative staffer
  • Editor or writer for history-related media
  • Consultant for commercial and nonprofit organizations
  • Public policy researcher
  • Foreign service officer
  • Military officer candidate
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