Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Time at Bonaventure as a History Major (Jason Mahar)

The transition from high school to college was a unique one that was greatly aided by the Giant Step Program. Thanks to the program, as a senior in high school I took both Greek and Roman Civilization at SBU. Taking these classes served two purposes: one, getting me acclimated to college classes, and, two, making me more comfortable at SBU. When it came time to decide which college to choose, the Giant Step Program and my familiarity with Saint Bonaventure University played a decisive factor in my choice.   
                History was a natural choice for me because I had always been interested in human interactions. Studying history at SBU gave me the chance to see the world through the eyes of different cultures and more thoroughly understand the world today. Learning about Middle Eastern history with Fr. Calabria, Latin American history with Dr. Horowitz, and the Early National Period with Dr. Robbins was particularly interesting. Reading a biography of Hamilton in Dr. Robbins’s class started my fascination with financial history. This led me to read more about Robert Morris and how money flowed in the late 1700s to early 1800s. 

              Ultimately, this interest in financial history culminated in my research of an often under discussed figure, Albert Gallatin. Gallatin became the subject of my thesis, which dealt with his financial ideas on debt and greater vision for an interconnected America with a lively manufacturing sector. The past three years have vastly improved my writing and critical analysis which has made all the work pay dividends. I plan to pursue a PhD in American History and will be applying to schools in December. Teaching American History at a university and getting to do further research on important people and events in the Early Republican Period sounds fascinating. 

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