Tuesday, March 13, 2012

More from Our Graduating Seniors: Amber Cheladyn (Class of 2012)

History has always held a special place in my heart. I love learning about the past, the individuals that came before me, and the important events that have shaped the world. I knew I wanted to study history in college. When I came to visit St. Bonaventure as a junior in high school, I was able to talk with a member of the history department, Dr. Horowitz. As I walked into a Plassman classroom that day, I had no thought about any other career besides a history teacher. Then, Dr. Horowitz began discussing the other possible career paths a history major might take. After hearing about the numerous options I had, I walked out of the classroom confused. Was a history teacher what I wanted to become?

I went through high school still knowing I wanted to major in history but unsure of what my future career would be. I went to Jamestown Community College and got an Associates Degree in Social Sciences. While at JCC, I took an education course and finally realized I did not want to be a middle school or high school history teacher. I began to question my course of study and what I wanted to do after college.

I had always known I would come to St. Bonaventure after my two years at JCC were over. With little thought, I made the decision to continue with history. Something that I am glad I did! At St. Bonaventure, I was finally able to take the history classes I wanted to take, such as History of American Women, the United States and the Caribbean, American Ethnicity and Immigration, and many others. I was finally able to gain a deep insight into these subjects and look at them from a variety of perspectives. Through these classes, I have learned that history is not just about dates and facts. It is about what we can learn from them. The choices countries and individuals have made in the past continue to affect the world today. As history majors, we can view the past to understand the present.
I have learned a great deal from these classes and from the wonderful professors that have taught them. Each professor here is always willing to help students whether it is for their class or to assist students in gaining further experiences and opportunities. With their assistance, I have become a better critical thinker, researcher, and writer. These important skills will assist me in the future. The help of my professors in gaining these skills has encouraged me to instill these same learning experiences in others.

Being a history major has left me with valuable experiences. This semester I am interning at the University Archives and am currently working on Bona Alumni, Fred McCarthy’s cartoon collection. I have had the opportunity to become involved in archiving historical material, creating a display, and building a website for the collection. I will also be starting work as a research assistant for Dr. Robbins. This new experience will allow me to gain more insight into research that will help me in the future.

After four years, I have finally chosen a career path. I have recently been accepted in the Library Science program at the University at Buffalo. I will begin my studies in the fall to become a School Media Specialist. It is my hope in the future to get a Post-Master’s degree in Archival Studies. I eventually would like to work at a museum. The ideal museum would be one of the numerous museums in Washington, D.C.

My time at St. Bonaventure University would not have been as meaningful without the help of the wonderful people and classes in the History Department. I will miss the professors and the interesting and challenging classes when I graduate in May.

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