Holly S. Belkot ’13
Wexford/ Pittsburgh, Pa.| Pine-Richland High School
Majors: International Studies, History
Clubs/Activities: Honors Program, Sigma Kappa sorority, Sigma Kappa public relations chairwoman, Center for Civic Engagement intern, Leadershape, O-Team Leader, Student advisor
Post-graduation plans: Peace Corps, development work abroad or maybe graduate school.
Meaningful faculty connection: I have made a great connection with Dr. Fourshey. She is my advisor as well as my biggest advocate. We have built an amazing relationship over my three years here in large part because she was someone who really pushed me into doing something different by studying abroad in the Gambia, West Africa, where she was heading the program. From then on, she has helped me so much between having me over for dinner at her house during stressful weeks at school to sending me every internship opportunity that comes her way.
The most exciting thing about studying history at Susquehanna: When I was abroad, in the Gambia, I had the opportunity to do historical research in the archives there through one of my classes at the university. Through that research process I learned so much about colonialism, Gambian women, local law, imprisonment, and historical research. And it was actually fun, as odd and nerdy as that may sound.
Why did you choose to study history and international studies? I want to be involved in development work, and I am very interested in history. Both of these things go hand, and I felt that the two majors and emphasis would teach me different sides to the story, multi-research methods and problem solving skills. In international studies I have learned about some of the issues facing the world and in history classes I have seen them develop and change over time. I think having two majors has given me an edge both in education and in job market.
Sara Kern ’13
Lebanon, Pa. | Lebanon Catholic
Minors: Religion, Studio Art
Clubs/Activities: Honors Program, GeoClub, Catholic Campus Ministries, SU Swings
Post-graduation plans: Attend graduate school for history
Favorite class: While I have enjoyed nearly all of my classes at SU, particularly my history classes, my favorite class thus far has been History of American Medicine with Dr. Weaver. I have an assistantship with the Medical Humanities Initiative at SU with Dr. Slavishak and Dr. Weaver, so taking the class was not only interesting because the class itself was exciting and engaging, but also because it was relevant to my work.
Meaningful faculty connection: Thanks not only to having class with, but also working for Dr. Slavishak and Dr. Weaver, I have made meaningful connections with both of them. They are both very outgoing and helpful and I feel comfortable going to either of them if I'm having a problem with a paper, or even just to chat. The summer after my freshman year, I presented with Dr. Weaver at the Pennsylvania Medical Humanities Consortium in Philadelphia.
Summer or independent research: Last summer, I had an internship at the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pa. While there, I worked with another intern to redesign one of the permanent exhibits in the museum. Through this experience, I learned how a museum works and all of the work involved in various aspects of the museum. In addition to my experience there, I also have an assistantship with the Medical Humanities Initiative at SU, where I do things from writing and presenting papers at conferences, to aiding in organizing MHI events on campus to ordering books for the library. I have learned a lot through this experience and it has helped me to find what part of history I want to focus on, which is medical history.
Megan McDonie ‘13
Lancaster, Pa. | Conestoga Valley High School
Majors: History, Spanish
Clubs/Activities: Honors Program, SU Swimming, H.O.L.A. treasurer, Peer Study Away adviser, Admissions tour guide, History Club, Study Buddy, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Alpha Lambda Delta honor society for first-year students, Phi Alpha Theta history honor society, Pi Gamma Mu international honor society
Post-Graduation plans: Graduate school for Latin American history, but I am keeping my options open and looking at jobs, teaching opportunities, and positions with non-profit organizations.
Favorite Class: All of my Latin American history classes. Before Susquehanna, I had only studied U.S. and European history and SU gave me the opportunity to study something new. My favorite has been Latin American Cultural History. We explored interesting parts of Latin American culture, such as learning Argentine tango or Brazilian capoeira while also learning historical theories and applying them to the material learned in class—a valuable skill for history majors. This class helped me decide that I want to study Latin American history after Susquehanna.
Meaningful Faculty Connection: My most meaningful faculty connection is my relationship with Dr. Muñoz because she has been most influential in helping me become a historian. I took her survey-level Latin American history class my first semester freshman year and have taken classes with her every semester since. She takes a personal interest in the success of all of her students and goes above and beyond to help them succeed, such as when I took a 300-level class with her my freshman year with all upper classman. Even though I felt lost at the beginning, she helped me with some of the material and I learned so much. I can approach her about anything and her constant guidance and encouragement have helped me to become the best writer and historian that I can be.
The most exciting thing about studying history: History is exciting because it is so diverse and creates a multitude of opportunities. For me the most exciting thing is the challenge of analyzing primary sources and constructing them into my own argument and research papers. Since I am studying Latin American history, I am also able to incorporate my Spanish major into history since some of my primary-source research is in Spanish.
Blake Morris '13
Harrisburg, Pa. | Central Dauphin East High School
Minor: Political Science
Clubs/Activities: Student Government Association, Phi Alpha Theta history honor society,
Phi Mu Delta fraternity
Post-graduation plans: Law school
The most exciting thing about studying history at Susquehanna: Studying history at Susquehanna has allowed me to pursue a range of research topics. As long as enough primary and secondary sources are available, professors encourage you to study topics as varied as the Spanish conquest of Mexico, or the effects of the Roswell incident on national culture.
Biggest academic challenge: My greatest academic challenge to date has been in the class History Methods, a requirement for all sophomore history majors. In the class, I was required to write a primary source research paper on a series of nearly 14,000 documents. This required me to prioritize research and learn how to read sources which were nearly illegible. As a result, I have much better time management skills and I more fully appreciate the works of scholars who study difficult to read documents day after day.
Why I chose to study history: For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with the study of history. At first, I was content with merely learning as much as I could about various historic events. However, studying history at Susquehanna has taught me that history is much more than facts and figures. I have learned how to interpret sources and create theses to put my own mark in the historical record.