Monday, March 5, 2012

Another Graduating Senior Shares Her Story: Lauren Perkins (Class of 2012)

Before coming to St. Bonaventure University, I already loved history. I can remember sitting in my Global History class in ninth grade, wishing that I could take history classes all day, every day. From that point on, I decided that I would make history a part of my everyday life and share my passion for the subject with others by becoming a history teacher. Although I didn’t think it was possible, after spending four years at St. Bonaventure, my love of history has grown exponentially, all thanks to the wonderful professors in the SBU history department.
The history professors here are kind, understanding, and patient people who really care about their students. Admittedly, I’m an overachiever and a huge history nerd, and the professors here have always been patient with my tendency to write long papers. During the fall semester of my freshman year, when I was taking a history of Mexico class with Dr. Horowitz, I remember being extremely nervous about having gone over the page limit for a paper. I asked Dr. Horowitz if I would lose credit for going over the limit. He smiled and said, “Lauren, as long as it’s good, I will read every word that you write.” Dr. Horowitz reassured me that my enthusiasm was appreciated, and that the professors here cared about me as a person. 
The history department faculty here will go the extra mile so that students can have more academic opportunities. Despite being busy writing two books and an article, Dr. Robbins made time to do an independent study with me in African American history. This enabled me to study a subject in greater depth than I would have in a normal class, helped me to become a more careful and critical reader, and allowed me a considerable amount of academic freedom.

Being a history major at St. Bonaventure has given me amazing opportunities for on-campus employment and valuable job experience. I’ve worked at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts as a curator’s assistant for almost three years now, helping with art restoration, assisting in designing and assembling exhibits, and even curating one of my own. This semester, I started working as a research assistant for Dr. Marinari. Being a research assistant has given me valuable experience conducting research, which will no doubt help me after when I pursue a master’s degree in Adolescence Education at St. Bonaventure next year.
Although I’ve been asked countless times what I could possibly do with a degree in history if I decided not to be a teacher, I know that studying history has given me skills that are valued at almost any job. I am a better writer, think more critically, and have acquired good research skills because of my history classes. Thanks to my professors at SBU, I have learned that history is not simply memorizing facts; history helps us to understand the present and, most importantly, each other.

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