Two graduates from the department of history have won Pulitzer Prizes, one for journalism, the other for literature. Others have gone on to productive careers in law, journalism, publishing, education and government.

History illuminates the human condition. As a field of study, history provides the context with which to define one's relationship with the world, and a structure within which to study other disciplines. In portraying continuity and change, history offers a basis for understanding one's culture, one's community, and oneself. Without historical perspective, learning is incomplete.

History also provides a strong foundation for a broad variety of careers. The study of history prepares a student for the dynamics of business, law, government, or nonprofit careers. Historical knowledge provides details of past experience with which to test the feasibility of new solutions. It enhances the ability to recognize patterns in voluminous data; it supports valid comparisons and connections. These are skills valued by employers not just in the field itself, but in any career endeavor.

History degree a gateway to venture capital company

Sarah Holmes '17
Talent Executive, Vettery (NYC)

Sarah graduated from UVM in 2017 and is currently a talent executive working for Venture Capital Fund in New York City. Her history degree gave her substantial skills in writing, proofreading, and editing which she uses on a daily basis through interacting with coworkers and candidates. “I credit much of my success to the UVM history department and the exceptional professors and staff members that I had the chance to work with," she relates. "I currently work for a Venture Capital Fund helping early stage founders grow their teams and hire top talent. I consider myself lucky to have completed a liberal arts degree at a university that pushed students to explore new topics and take advantage of the wide range of classes that were offered every semester."

Portrait of a scholar

Steve Hausmann BA '09 MA '11
Assistant Professor at the University of St. Paul, Minnesota 

After graduating with his masters in 2009 from UVM, Professor Hausmann earned his Ph.D. in American history at Temple University. He’s received fellowships from the Newberry Library, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and has been published in the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era and the Public Historian. He’s currently working on a book manuscript which will be an environmental history of settler colonialism in the Black Hills of South Dakota. "I can trace a straight line from the research methods and teaching techniques I learned as an undergraduate and graduate student in the UVM history department to the success I’ve had as a teacher and scholar today. In many ways, my career began in Amani Whitfield’s classroom, listening to his remarkable lectures on slavery in New England and other topics way back in my senior year in 2008. I wouldn’t be a historian today if it hadn’t been for people like Amani, Jacquie Carr, Dona Brown, Dave Massell, and all of the University of Vermont’s wonderful set of teachers and historians.”

Meet some other graduates here:

Business

Daniel Aschkinasi
Year: BA History 2012
Principal Civic Centered Consulting LLC (Denver, CO)

“Often to find the right path forward, one has to spend some time looking at the past. I learned this critical yet straightforward lesson from my time studying history and political science at the University of Vermont. Research, writing, critical thinking and analysis were all staples of the UVM history curriculum and today in my work as a political consultant I find they are put to use every day. In a world where answers are accessible in the palm of our hand, I feel that an emphasis on the study of history is more important than ever before. UVM offered a variety of subjects to focus on within the History Department and because of those options students like myself were able to create a unique experience within the program."

Read more of Daniel's story

Since graduating in 2012, Daniel has worked for many political organizations and campaigns including President Barack Obama, Governor John Hickenlooper, District Attorney Beth McCann, and District Attorney Michael Dougherty. Currently, Daniel serves as the principal for Civic Centered Consulting, a political consulting group based in Colorado.“UVM offered a variety of subjects to focus on within the History Department and because of those options students like myself were able to create a unique experience within the program." Daniel currently works for Principal Civic Centered Consulting in Denver Colorado since graduating UVM in 2012 with a degree in history and political science. His time with the UVM History Department allowed him to develop skills in research, writing, critical thinking, and analysis that are instrumental to his work as a political consultant today.
 
 
Sheila Cole
Year: 1996
Senior Director of Sales, SAP Concur

Cole works as the Senior Director of Sales at SAP Concur. She says her degree has helped her develop the skills to effectively articulate and defend her viewpoint and apply it to being an effective salesperson and leader.

“My experience at UVM as a history major provided me with the ability to formulate unbiased viewpoints, fine tune my attention to detail and to remember stories. I also learned how to articulate and defend my view point.:

She concedes that a career in technology sales might not be associated with a history background, she says the analytical skills she learned at UVM are critical to her success.

“My job is to coach my team to understand what story their prospect or client fits into, and to share the stories of those who have gone before them with the same challenges. I also need to project our current revenue based upon our historical trends and outliers. Historical information is critical to success in a sales organization.”

 

Hunter Colvin
Year: 2017 BA & MA 2018
Campaign Coordinator at Dealer.com

Dealer.com is pioneer marketing and technology company in the auto industry. “I did not know how to do marketing or code, but the skills that I learned through my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history landed me the job.” Colvin says the company trained her is the technical skills she needs—she even received a promotion a year after her start date.

“As keyword-y as my job is, my degrees taught me incredible attention to detail, the ability to do research, how to understand, summarize, and even decode large chunks of information, and how to disagree with someone’s point of view while still engaging with and working alongside them.”

Colvin says her history degree was a big factor in getting the Dealer.com interview. “In fact, my history degrees were mentioned in multiple interviews as one of the reasons why I got interviewed . . . I may not work in the auto industry forever (I certainly never imagined that I would be here to begin with) but I know that the skills I learned in the UVM history department will be applicable no matter what industry I’m working in.”


Max Hollman
Year: 2013
Manager of Drama Programming at HBO

Hollman graduated from UVM with degrees in history and economics with a minor  in political science. While focusing on U.S. history, he also took a number of courses in, and wrote my Honors College thesis, on a topic based in Islamic/Middle Eastern history.

“The deeply rooted tradition of storytelling in the study of history has been instrumental to my career at HBO, which is all about telling stories,” Hollman says. “At UVM, I learned how to critically examine history, asking questions like: “Who's telling this story and why? Who actually gets the opportunity to tell the stories that become what we call ‘history’? What's the evidence that supports a version of events?’ Asking these questions—and learning how to write about them—gave me the skills to do what I do now.”

Part of his job is to read scripts, watch episodes of television and movies, and give feedback to the writers/directors/producers. “That feedback is grounded in the same questions that guided my historical studies,” he says. “’What makes this a compelling story? Why are people (characters) making certain decisions, and how do those decisions have ripple effects through the story?’ You might think studying history is a natural path to a career in creative TV/film, but in both fields, you're approaching narratives with a critical eye.”

 

Steve Sullivan
Year: 1999
Insurance Agency Owner / Financial Advisor

Sullivan describes his UVM career this way: “I majored in history and sociology and BAM!—20 years later I own an insurance agency.”

 

 He says he used the skills of effective communication and critical evaluation he learned through his liberal arts background at UVM to advance his career goals. “Clear, concise communication is a staple in the professional world, no matter the profession. No matter the color of one's collar, one needs to assess problems, critically evaluate possible solutions and work with others to achieve the prescribed outcome.”

 

 

Ford von Weise
Year: 1985 BA History
Director, Global Head - Aircraft Finance CitiPrivate Bank (Boston, MA)

"I am a Director and currently the Global Head of Aircraft Finance at the Citi Private Bank, which part of Citibank, N.A.. I manage a portfolio of aircraft loans of around $1.5B of business aircraft and also head up the loan origination efforts, along with overall program management. We also provide aircraft acquisition consulting services to our clients and I lead that effort as well.

The skills I learned as a history major at UVM that are important in my job are:
Writing – this is the single most important skill to develop; history teaches good writing skills,
Research – no matter, the job, understanding how to research a topic is important,
History helps in understanding human behavior,
As a banker, understanding economic history is vital and creates a knowledge base from which studying economics becomes easier and learning is deeper

Many candidates that we interview are very proficient at math and finance, but not many can write well. Good writing is extremely important for success and sets many candidates apart.”

Read more of Ford's story

Bradford is currently the Global Head of Aircraft Finance at the Citi Private Bank, part of Citibank North America. Though he works in finance and manages a portfolio of aircraft loans of around $1.5 billion, his history degree provided an “understanding [of] economic history that is vital and creates a knowledge base from which studying economics becomes easier and the learning is deeper”. The strengths he learned in research and writing have greatly helped his career.

 

Robert Orr
Year: BA 1970 History and Art History
Robert Orr & Associates LLC (ROA) Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urbanism (New Haven, CT)

After graduating in 1970 with a degree in history and art history, Robert attended architecture school at Yale University. Robert’s background in history gave him a unique perspective in viewing architectural design, and how the utility of buildings evolved over time: “I watched architectural design have no relation to problems of humanity, which inspired my work to become more and more grounded in relevance to repairing problems of humanity . . . Ultimately, history has played a strong part in my career since graduating from UVM.”

Read  more of Robert's story

“My senior year at UVM, on a total whim, I applied to architectural school. No doubt that was because I pursued a double major, the other being history of art. Frankly, I didn’t think I had a chance of admission, not having taken any courses related to architecture specifically. My feeling was, if I didn’t gain admittance, it wasn’t a lifelong ambition, so I could move on.
“Surprisingly I was admitted to both schools I had chosen: Washington University in St. Louis, and Yale. I chose Yale, where I spent 3.5 years to attain the Master of Architecture degree.
“Where my background in history at UVM entered in was that the architect with whom I fulfilled apprenticeship requirements with, was launching a new direction in architectural design based on classical principles proportion, civic responsibility, and detailing perfected over thousands of years, that was dismissed suddenly in the 20th century.”

 

Law

Andrew Quigley
Year: BA History 2011

Andrew graduated in 2011 with a BA in history and political science. He believes that his education at UVM was immensely valuable in preparing him for law school and a career as an attorney: “My professors taught me invaluable skills that I use every day as an attorney including being able to take a great amount of facts and making constructive arguments from those facts. I also benefited from a diverse array of classes, ranging from history of Canada, West Africa, and India. I look back positively on my time with the History Department, and I know that my professors played a large role in shaping the person I am today. My experiences with the UVM History Department prepared me for my post-graduate endeavors, which included law school and returning to Vermont for a career in law. "

Clara Kelly
Year: 2015 BA History
Special Events Coordinator at Georgetown University Law Center (Washington, DC)

“Studying History at the University of Vermont is a decision that I would make over and over again if I could go back to college. As an undergraduate and even today, I am faced with questions like “Well what are you going to do with a history degree? Teach? Don’t you think that’s a fruitless major?” These predictable questions actually always re-centered me and strengthened my gratitude for my academic pursuit. Aside from the most obvious skills, (reading, analysis, writing well) being a student of history teaches you to use historical perspective, an ability sacred to the historian and the key to unlocking the “whys” of the past and perhaps apply those answers to some of society’s problems today.  I would even go further in saying that learning to use historical perspective has taught me to be more open, empathetic, and respectful--character developments I did not anticipate gaining from an academic discipline . . .

Read more of Clara's story

Currently, I am employed as an Event Planner at Georgetown University. The skills attained from studying history at Vermont has helped my communication skills and enabled me to interact and correspond confidently with high-level administrators, notable professors, and noteworthy guests like Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and more recently, James Forman, Jr.

I majored in American History and took great interest in the subject of slavery. In light of Georgetown University’s admission of owning slaves and its recent atonement for doing so, I have joined conversations with Georgetown professors and staff discussing the terrible years leading up to and through the Civil War. My academic training in history at Vermont has helped me to partake when asked to do so with great confidence.

The History Department at UVM has a wealth of learned professors with a unique ability for drawing students into the past as though it happened yesterday. I truly did not take one class that I did not enjoy. From the brilliant Melanie Gustafson, to the English-born Professor Carr (who taught a course called “The American Revolution” ha!) to Professor Field, a wizard in the mastery of the many Louis’ of France, I grew a great deal from them all.

My biggest mentor at UVM was Harvey Amani Whitfield. Exceptional in every way, whether he was providing academic insight or helping me to see life related issues more clearly, Professor Whitfield’s classes were the ones I cherished most.

The History Department at the University of Vermont gave me so much more than a degree. My feet are well grounded and my mind is open, active and able to analyze and deduce problems as they occur. And I am always reminded as each day ends, a new history begins, and man through that moment, lives on.

Thank you Vermont History Department!”

 

Bilal Sultan
Year: 2007 BA Political Science and History
Immigration Attorney at Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP (Dallas Fort Worth Area, TX)

 Since graduating in 2007, Bilal has completed law school and gon onto serve as in-house counsel to a Fortune 300 technology company in the DC area, where he provided legal advice on a wide range of immigration law matters. He is currently an Associate in the Dallas office of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP, working on U.S. non-immigrant and immigrant visa matters.

Bilal believes that his time as a history major at UVM helped set him up for success as an attorney: “As a lawyer with an international focus, I have been able to work seamlessly with clients around the globe by being cognizant of the distinct cultures and histories that have shaped their laws today. The depth of knowledge and insight into world affairs I developed as a History major has been invaluable to my career today.” 

Read more of Bilal's story

“I truly believe that majoring in history at UVM helped set me up for success as an attorney. The practical benefits were developing critical qualitative and analytical skills through an intensive curriculum, but beyond that, the professors in UVM's history department really challenged students to view current events -- whether legal, political, or societal -- within historical contexts. As a lawyer with an international focus, I have been able to work seamlessly with clients around the globe by being cognizant of the distinct cultures and histories that have shaped their laws today. The depth of knowledge and insight into world affairs I developed as a History major has been invaluable to my career today.”

Bilal is an Associate in the Dallas office of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP, working on U.S. non-immigrant and immigrant visa matters. Prior to joining BAL, Bilal served as in-house counsel to a Fortune 300 technology company in the Washington D.C. area, where he provided strategic legal advice and counseling to the organization on a wide range of immigration law matters, with a focus on U.S. business immigration, workforce compliance and corporate restructuring. He has strong experience in advising corporations on immigration policies and strategies pertaining to hiring and retaining employees and managing the movement of foreign employees on international assignments. During law school, Bilal assisted individuals in obtaining humanitarian immigration relief at Hofstra University’s Immigration and Asylum Clinic.

 

Politics/Government

Michael Jarvis
Years: 1966 (BA) & 1974 (MA)
Retired military

Jarvis graduated from UVM with degrees in history/political science and a commission as a US Army officer through the ROTC program. I entered active duty as a military intelligence officer, serving his country in that capacity for 27 years before retiring in 1993. He served tours of duty in Germany, Vietnam, Belgium and Stateside.

“I returned to UVM to complete a master's degree in 1972-74 in preparation to become an assistant professor of military science at Norwich University,” he said. “The education I received at UVM under the tutelage of Professor Daniels, Hand, Hilberg, Stoler and many others in the College of Arts & Sciences formed my world view for my entire military career. These professors taught me critical thinking skills that led to a successful career in the intelligence world. I look back on my time at UVM with great fondness and gratitude for how well the institution prepared me for a challenging and exciting career.”
 

 

Lauren Scribi
Year: 2008 BA History and Political Science
Program and Partnership Manager at Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate (Boston, MA)

“My time at UVM being a history major truly prepared me to enter the workforce after graduation. I learned that understanding the history of something, whether it be an event, timeline of a certain process or intricacies of relationships, helps in making decisions and driving solutions to issues. Since graduation, I have worked in public service in Massachusetts where managing relationships and delivering goals was my priority. Having the critical thinking skills that I developed at UVM was essential in being successful in my role. I had the ability to look at the big picture and analyze past events and future steps. I now work in the private sector as a Senior Analyst at a consulting company and I truly would not be able to deliver for clients without the skill set I gained through my time at UVM."

Read more of Lauren's story

"The professors in the history department are intentional about teaching life-skills in addition to the subject-based knowledge. Professor Deslandes served as my thesis supervisor and the year-long process of doing research, providing drafts and outlines and focusing on a major goal while still balancing my academic load, taught me time-management skills and also developed my ability to multi-task and triage. While I decided to attend UVM as a history major because of my love for the subject, I found that not only did I receive an excellent and challenging education that kept me engaged, I graduated with a skill set that I never even knew was being developed.

"In the accompanying photo I'm in the front row in the black top and jeans. I wanted to choose this photo even though it's a group photo because I truly put my history skill set and cultural appreciation skills learned at UVM in this picture. I traveled to Ukraine last May with the U.S. State Department on an outbound exchange program to talk about the American electoral system, the history of politics, and how to engage more women in civic society.”

Lauren’s time at UVM greatly equipped her to enter the workforce after graduation. Since graduation she has worked in public service in Massachusetts, and she currently works in the private sector as a Senior Analyst at Xyster Consulting and believes “I truly would not be able to deliver for clients without the skill set I gained through my time at UVM. Having the critical thinking skills that I developed through my degree was essential in being successful in my role.”

 

Leslie Lawson
Year: 1991 BA History and English
Job: Homeland Security Senior Leader, US Federal Government (Ottawa, CA)

“Being a history student at UVM taught me many skills that have served me well in my 25-plus year career with the Federal government. Conducting historical research taught me patience and tenacity. Quiet, consistent examination of primary documents can yield significant insight into another time and place. This insight provides context for our current experience and can guide us in making better decisions for the future. Being a history student also taught me how to draw conclusions from my studies, articulate a position, and provide support for my thesis. Verbally defended my thesis to peers and professors required thinking on my feet and being able to express myself as well verbally as with the written word."

Read more of Leslie's story

"During my career in Federal law enforcement, homeland security policy development and international relations, observers have falsely concluded that my history studies at UVM did not prepare me well for my career. They are very wrong. Law enforcement investigations are nothing if not patient research into a crime which yield insights into the context and nature of the offense. Arrest and investigative reports are nothing if not articulated positions, defended by facts you uncovered during your investigation into the crime. Testifying in court requires that you skillfully articulate and defend your work verbally before a judge and jury. When developing policy recommendations, it is paramount that one understand the context of the issue, the history of trying to solve it and recognize success and failure from past attempts in order to make better recommendations for the future.

"In the later international relations work I have done first, as the US Customs and Border Protection Attaché in Mexico City, Mexico and now, as the Homeland Security Attaché in Ottawa, Canada, I have used all of these skills, plus the last major skill I learned as a history student: the ability to use my imagination to place myself in the shoes of another to better understand their position, motivations and goals. As a history student, I was most successful when I imagined myself in the life of those I was researching, trying to better understand their context, motivations and goals across time and space. I have found that I am now most successful when I can use that same skill not only to better understand an adversary but also a local, state, Federal or international partner with whom I am negotiating an agreement. Understanding them better allows me to propose outcomes they will accept while also advancing US goals.

"Indeed, being a history student at UVM prepared me very, very well for my career and I treasure my time working with the department.”

 

Museums

Christopher DeMairo
Year: 2017 MA
Archivist, Archives of American Art (Washington, D.C.)

“My name is Chris DeMairo, and I graduated with an M.A. in History from the University of Vermont in 2017. I am currently working on a 15-month contract as a processing archivist with the Smithsonian Archives of American Art in Washington, D.C. My day-to-day involves going through historical collections, usually as one of the first people to see the collection, and then to organize and explain the material. I consider myself lucky to witness such a candid side of history, and fortunate to say that I genuinely enjoy my job. At UVM, I was given the freedom to explore a variety of career options while also receiving the necessary support from my professors at every turn. Through the inter-departmental collaboration of UVM Special Collections and the UVM History Department, I received a work-study position processing collections for the UVM Special Collections where, again, I was provided with a wonderful blend of freedom and guidance. I continued to volunteer until graduation, treating it as a full extension of my education. Ultimately, I walked away from UVM with not only a skill that I find both lucrative and enjoyable (a sweet combination indeed), but also having learned crucial lessons in the balance of guidance and freedom.”

Academia

Marc Brenman
Year: MS History 1971
Managing Member, IDARE LLC (Washington, DC)

“I have fond memories of UVM, especially professors like Sam Hand. I was allowed to do a lot of independent work, like inventing a Black History curriculum back when there were hardly any in the U.S. I wrote some interesting papers, including one on the Committee of Historians during World War II, which studied the impact of the strategic bombing of Germany. Henry Steele Commager was on it as a young professor. I wrote to him during the Vietnam War and asked if he felt the same way, that strategic bombing did not break the will of the people. He wrote back and said 'yes.' I used my studies about history for decades in my work in civil rights investigations in the government, since they are evidence-based and everything must be documented. I have written two books and numerous articles and studies, and retired as a federal and state government executive. I additionally worked in Kenya teaching in the Young African Leadership Initiative, a great USAID program. Having worked in Kenya, he believes that “history is more important than ever” in creating a well informed, globalized perspective for today’s youth.

 

James McHugh
Year: 1983 BA History
Professor and former Chair of Political Science, University of Akron (Akron, Ohio)

Dr. James T. (Jim) McHugh began at UVM as a history major and later added political science and area and international studies (now called global and regional studies) as majors. Although there were no minors when he was an undergraduate, he also had concentrations in French, comparative religion, and music. The UVM history program taught him the critical thinking skills that he needed to excel academically, and led him to be nominated by UVM to compete for a Rhodes Scholarship, be commissioned as an infantry officer through the ROTC program, and earn a prestigious fellowship to the University of Edinburgh, where he earned a Master of Letters degree in history, prior to switching to political science for his doctorate, which he earned at Queen's University in Canada.

Read more of James' story

His experience with the department's History of Canada course also prompted him toward an emphasis in Canadian studies, leading to him eventually becoming President of the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States and a member of the International Council on Canadian Studies. He has had a successful academic career in teaching, research, scholarship (including several books and numerous articles), and administration at Roosevelt University in Chicago, American University in Washington, DC, and the University of Akron, where he currently serves as a professor and former chair of political science and a fellow and director of academic planning for its Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics. His career not only was launched at UVM but also has brought him back there, where he recently has taught as an adjunct lecturer for the Department of Political Science and has supported the efforts of the history department's Dr. David Massell on enhancing UVM's Canadian Studies Program of which Dr. Massell is the director. He also served as a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC and as Fulbright Distinguished Chair in North American Integration at Carleton University in Ottawa.

 

David Baillargeon
Year: BA 2009
Job: ERC Research Associate and College Fellow, University of Nottingham (Nottingham, England)

“I learned - thanks to the many wonderful professors in the history department - the craft of the historian. This included not only learning practical skills like how to balance primary and secondary sources in historical research, but also learning how to think like a historian. I left UVM with a profound desire to learn more about the world and its history, a path that has led me to become an academic historian studying the British Empire.”

Read more of David's story

“When I switched to a history major as a sophomore at UVM, it came as something of a surprise to both myself and my family. Although I had long been interested in history in a general sense, I had never taken the subject all that seriously in school and never considered it as a career option. Growing up, taking a history class meant simply memorizing names, dates, and events from the past, often (or always) within old and established historical narratives. While this activity seemed important in a vague way, it was not exactly inspiring.

My experiences at UVM, however, transformed how I saw the discipline of history. Instead of simply memorizing random items and seeing historical events through a vacuum, I learned - thanks to the many wonderful professors in the history department - the craft of the historian. This included not only learning practical skills like how to balance primary and secondary sources in historical research, but also learning how to think like a historian. Whether it was through a consideration of the environment as a historical actor or the complex evolution of concepts such as race, class, and gender in historical time, I left UVM with a profound desire to learn more about the world and its history, a path that has led me to become an academic historian studying the British Empire. It's thanks to my experiences at UVM, as well as the continued support and guidance I've received from a number of professors I had while in Vermont, that this once far-fetched possibility became a reality.”

 

Robert Benson
Year: 1986
Associate Head Football Coach/Defensive Coordinator University of Pennsylvania

Benson applies the skills and knowledge he gained while at UVM to coaching young athletes at a Division I Ivy League school. 

“Dr. James Overfield was a huge influence on my four-year experience at UVM and his impact on me as a both a teacher and mentor is immeasurable,” Benson says. “My interest and passion for 16th Century Europe and the age of Reformation and Exploration is due to Dr. Overfield's ability to motivate, articulate, and teach at the highest level. Whether it is Witchcraft in the 16th Century or Machavelli's The Prince, the Penn defense has been introduced to Dr. Overfield's passion for this era and the importance it has played in shaping the world today.”


 


Emily Burrill
Year: MA 2011
Professor and Director of African Studies, UNC

Presently, I am an Associate Professor of History and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I have taught for twelve years. I am the Director of our African Studies Center, which is one of 10 designated National Resource Centers for the study of Africa in the United States. I am the author of one monograph and two edited volumes, and a handful of articles. The peer-group camaraderie in the graduate program at UVM, coupled with the excellent advising helped me believe that I could pursue a Ph.D. in history and move on into a career as a history professor.”

Read more of Emily's story

“Born and raised in Wolcott, Vermont, I received my master’s degree in History from the University of Vermont in Fall 2001, shortly before entering the doctoral program in History at Stanford University that same year. While at UVM, I had the great fortune of working under the generous and insightful supervision of Sean Stilwell in African history. I also benefited from formative seminar coursework with Dona Brown, Patrick Hutton, and Lee McIsaac. I will always be grateful for the training I received at UVM. Studying with these historians at UVM, I was able to really throw myself into interrogating the relationship between knowledge and power, something I believe is at the core of any worthwhile historical project. For me, this meant exploring the histories of colonialism. The level of advising and close mentorship I received through the Department of History allowed me to explore my interests in comparative colonialism, French intellectual and empire history, and above all, West African history. In particular, Patrick Hutton’s historiography course stays with me. As I write this in my faculty office, I can see the “Hutton section” on my bookcase: Braudel, Foucault, Darnton, and of course, Philippe Ariès. These texts now inform my teaching of graduate students in History. I am grateful for the teaching experience I received through the generous teaching fellowship program at the University of Vermont. To this day, I still refer back to my old notebooks and binders from my time at UVM when I’m constructing a lecture or advising a student on a particular subject.

 

Angie Grove
Year: MA 2015
Social Studies Teacher (Leicester, MA)

“I am a social studies teacher in Leicester, MA. In addition to teaching, I also coached basketball, am a member of the District History Curriculum Committee, serve as a Tech Integration Specialist, and mentor an Egyptian foreign exchange teacher with the US State Department's Teachers of Critical Languages Program. This past summer I participated in an archaeological dig in Ireland of a medieval Celtic homestead. The skills that I learned and practiced in the UVM History Masters program, particularly in research, evaluating the credibility of sources, and assistant teaching, have been invaluable contributions to my current endeavors. Equally important were the mentorship and faith I received from professors like Andrew Buchanan, Dona Brown, and Amani Whitfield.”

Read more of Angie's story

In addition to being a social studies teacher in Leicester, Massachusetts, alum Angie is also a member of the District History Curriculum Committee, serves as a Tech Integration Specialist, and mentors an Egyptian foreign exchange teacher with the US State Department's Teachers of Critical Languages Program. This past summer she participated in an archaeological dig in Ireland of a medieval Catholic homestead.“

 

Professor Steve Hausmann
Year: BA 2009 MA 2011
Job: Assistant Professor at the University of St. Paul, Minnesota (St. Paul, Minnesota)

After graduating with his Masters in 2009 from UVM, Professor Hausmann earned his Ph.D. in American history at Temple University. He’s received fellowships from the Newberry Library, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and other research institutions as well as having been published in the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era and the Public Historian. He’s currently working on a book manuscript which will be an environmental history of settler colonialism in the Black Hills of South Dakota. This past fall, he just recently joined the History Department faculty at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota as an Assistant Professor.

Read more of Steve's story

“I received my BA and my MA from the UVM history department in 2009 and 2011 respectively, and in March 2019 earned my Ph.D. in American history from Temple University. During that time, I lived in Denver, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, and taught history classes at several institutions including two years at the University of Pittsburgh. I've been awarded fellowships from the Newberry Library, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and other research institutions and have been published in the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era and The Public Historian. I'm currently working on a book manuscript, an environmental history of settler colonialism in the Black Hills of South Dakota. This fall, I joined the faculty at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota as an Assistant Professor in the history department.

I can trace a straight line from the research methods and teaching techniques I learned as an undergraduate and graduate student in the UVM history department to the success I’ve had as a teacher and scholar today. In many ways, my career began in Amani Whitfield’s classroom, listening to his remarkable lectures on slavery in New England and other topics way back in my senior year in 2008. I wouldn’t be a historian today if it hadn’t been for people like Amani, Jacquie Carr, Dona Brown, Dave Massell, and all of the University of Vermont’s wonderful set of teachers and historians.”

 

Carolyn Guzman
Year: BA 2006 History
High School Teacher

“I graduated from UVM in 2006 with a history degree and Professor Deslandes served as my teacher mentor/sponsor for my Senior Thesis in Irish History.

I am currently a teacher in South Florida and will be teaching AP European History again this upcoming year after an almost 5-year break. I was on the College Board Website and stumbled across Professor Deslandes name as the Chief Reader for the course and thought, "hey I know him, how cool!"

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Carolyn is currently a teacher in South Florida that teaches AP European History. She believes her abilities as a teacher were greatly aided through her time with the UVM history department.

 

 

John Morton
Graduated: 2000
Visiting Assistant Professor, Boston College

“I loved being a history major at UVM, in part because I was able to take such a wide variety of courses. I took courses on early Christianity, the Chinese diaspora, the Indian Ocean World, interwar 20th century Germany, and more,” says John Morton. “I really honed my writing and research skills in these classes. My history classes, combined with the film history courses, ensured that when I left UVM I knew how to write a research paper. These writing (planning, outlining, drafting, editing) skills are probably the most valuable thing I got from my undergraduate years.”

Morton worked as a private tutor in New York City and Boston, and moved on to graduate school, earning an M.A. in public history from the University of Massachusetts and a PhD in history from Boston College. In the public history field, he has managed a house museum, written tours, and written/designed.
 

David Reed
Year: 1972
Retired

After graduating from UVM, Reed continued his studies at Northeastern University, completing a teaching certification program with a concentration in teaching social studies at the secondary level. After service with the Peace Corps (1976-78) in an agricultural program, he combined his newly acquired second language skills in Spanish with my degrees in history/teaching to become an ESL-Bilingual teacher at Haverhill High School in Haverhill, Mass. In addition to English, he taught a variety of ESL-World History and U.S. History courses to second language students, and recently retired after 36 years in the program.

His commitment to lifelong learning, leadership and intellectual challenge took root at UVM. “I had excellent professors from both the history and political science departments (Professors Shultz, Daniels, and Nelson come to mind) and they provided instruction and guidance in how to view and analyze historical/political events from many different perspectives, as well as how to research and write well documented and annotated papers.”
 

Non-profits

 

 

 

Dan Beaupré
Year: BA History 1990
VP of Experiences, National Geographic Society (Washington, DC)

“I had an excellent time at UVM as a history major (B.A. '90). I arrived at UVM as an undecided student and after one class in European history with Hank Steffens I decided to become a major. I loved my classes and had excellent professors. In addition to Hank Steffens, who became by advisor, I studied with Peter Seybolt, Al Andrea and Jim Overfield. Pat Hutton was my honors thesis advisor. What I value most of my experience as a history student was learning how ideas -- scientific, religious, political, economic -- arise, change and have influence over time. Also, how to think critically and write cogently; to research a topic with focus and discipline, with a nod of thanks to the excellent reference librarians at UVM -- Nancy Crane, Paul Philbin, and Milton Crouch. I am vice president of experiences at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. and have been with the Society since 2000, and studying history gave me a lens to see and understand the world through. "To this day my UVM classes inform me in very meaningful ways. I still have all my class notes and papers and occasionally bring a folder of them to read on my train commute to work!”

 

Casey Garvey
Year: 2002
Volunteer Engagement Representative, Red Cross

Garvey is a self-described native Vermonter from Essex Junction who always had an interest in the humanities growing up. Since graduating from UVM in 2002, Casey has worked many jobs including being a personal trainer, a coach, and a health and wellness director. As Regional Volunteer Workforce Manager for the American Red Cross, he oversee several hundred volunteers, and collaborate with multiple departments and the general public every day. 

“My degree in history helped me to develop strong research and presentation skills. Now more than ever, an understanding of history, geopolitics and world affairs is necessary as citizens. We cannot simply be opinionated; we need to be informed.”

Garvey says all his decisions are informed by his foundation of liberal arts studies. “The historical mindset allows us to look at leaders of industry throughout history and integrate their successes into our work and personal lives. I am 40 years old now and have what I feel to be a dream job. I am involved with a humanitarian organization that truly saves lives and alleviates suffering. I am always proud to say that I am a UVM graduate.”

 

Katy Kreiger
Year: M.A. History 2010
Corporate Alliance Consultant, IAPP International Association of Privacy Professionals (York,
Maine)

“Since graduation, I have been working in nonprofits. First, I was in administration at Shelburne Museum, then education at the Park City Museum, then administration and development at the Museums of Old York. From there, I made a change from museums into professional associations. I have been at the International Association of Privacy Professionals for the past five years, the last three of which I have been working in sales. Communications skills have been a major part of my career, as well as research skills. Having a degree from UVM is recognizable and has prepared me for a variety of tasks as in the nonprofit sector 'no job is not your job.'”

 

April Cummings
Year: 2006 MA Historic Preservation
Job: Deputy Division Director, Mitigation, FEMA (Philadelphia, PA)

Alum April Cummings discusses how UVMs graduate historic preservation program gave her the hands-on experience and applicable skills necessary to undertake a successful career working for FEMA. She oversees not only environmental and historic preservation compliance, but the implementation of grants aimed to remove people out of dangerous floodplains throughout Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, DC., and West Virginia.

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Her time as a graduate student equipped her with skills that have greatly benefited her career: “I honestly think the most importaHer time as a graduate student equipped her with skills that have greatly benefited her career: “I honestly think the most important skill, which I did not anticipate using at all while I was in UVM’s Historic Preservation program, is the in-depth knowledge we received on the Section 106 process. Additionally, working in a group setting during grad school gave us tools, without us even knowing, that we would need to continue to refine to be successful in our careers . . . almost everything we do with regards to the National Historic Preservation Act requires working with and mediating between several parties that have polar views and opinions on what should happen with the historic resource.
“I’m amazed at how frequently I run into people that have graduated from UVM's Historic Preservation program that work in the emergency management field. At one point, both myself and one of my classmates, Amanda Ciampolillo, worked at FEMA Region III.
“I’m currently the Director of the Mitigation Division within FEMA, Region III. Region III covers Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, DC., and West Virginia. I oversee implementation of the National Flood Insurance Program, flood mapping, disaster and non-disaster grants aimed at removing people and property out of the floodplains, and environmental and historic preservation compliance.”

 

John Wetenkamp
Year: 2011
Director of Operations, The LoDo District Inc.

In his current role, Wetenkamp works for the registered neighborhood organization for Denver's most historic district, Lower Downtown (LoDo). He works with a board, comprised of developers, architects, city planners, tourism industry leaders, preservationists, and small business owners, to advocate for historic preservation, bring in tourism, and build meaningful connections among businesses and residents of LoDo. “The UVM history department is where I discovered my passion for learning through discovery, and through the tutelage of my professors, I took risks, expanded my horizons, and was pushed in ways I could not have anticipated. The thoughtful leadership UVM history professors demonstrated brought personal connections with a strong line of accountability, which is exactly how future employers brought the best out of me and how I have been encouraged to manage others in my career as well.”

MAJOR WITH NO LIMITS

What do these people all have in common?

John F. Kennedy
Martha Stewart
Sacha Baron Cohen
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Lauryn Hill
Steve Carell
Jimmy Buffett
Julia Child

They're all history majors — the major with no limits.

The study of history prepares students for the dynamics of business, government, law or non-profit careers. Historical scholarship trains the mind to think on many levels, to deal with partial evidence and ambiguity. Historical knowledge provides details of past experience with which to test the feasibility of new solutions. It enhances the ability to recognize patterns in voluminous data; it supports valid comparisons and connections. In short, a background in history is ideal preparation for a fulfilling and thoughtful career in just about any profession.

Careers for Students in History