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Alumni Stories

One of the perennial questions asked of our students is "What can you do with a History degree?" This page seeks to answer that question by highlighting a number of our recent alumni. We have had alumni go on to top-rated graduate schools, become teachers, enter government and law enforcement, work with historical preservation, and enter traditional private sector careers!

Our first highlighted alumni is Ms. Holly Ballard. HollyBallard

Holly, originally from Washington, Arkansas, graduated with her B.S. in History in 2012. We asked her to answer a few questions about where she is now, and how she saw her History degree helping her.

Q. What are you doing now?

I work at Historic Washington State Park. I am currently working in administration as on office manager assistant but I also get to work with our museum staff and take part in living history demonstrations, tours, historical research, and school programs. I work in a little town that was established in 1823 and served as the Confederate state capital of Arkansas from 1863 to 1865. I am surrounded by history and am always learning something new and I am able to share my knowledge/love of the town to passing visitors every day. 

Q. What was the most memorable part of your major?

Most memorable part was the professors’ passion for the subjects they taught. I felt as if I was truly being educated. The professors’ wanted to share their knowledge with the students and help you anyway they could to understand. You never felt stupid for asking a question.

Q. What was the most challenging part?

Dr. Nakashian’s essays. It was also challenging was working full time and going to school full time. I didn’t give myself a lot of time for studying and did not always put in as much effort in my classes as I should have. 

Q. What are the best reasons for students to study for a History degree?

You can recognize patterns in history and adjust your life from it or learn from it.

When studying history, you can always learn something new. The more you study history the more in-depth you can form an understanding of it. From the history you learn in elementary school to the history you study in college helps you grow to understand the effects history has on society. You will have a different take on the level of history you learned in elementary school vs the history you studied in college. Even though history is in the past it is also the future. Studying history keeps your mind open and it challenges you.

But the best reason to study history is that you as a person creates history every day. 

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