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James Nash

Degree: B.S. History

When did you graduate? 2012

What were some of the most rewarding/influential classes in your major? Environmental History, History of Science, and an independent study focusing on the history of Social Darwinism

Where did you live? I lived in an apartment just off campus

What groups did you belong to? Phi Alpha Theta

Did you participate in any experiences outside the classroom in your major field? I participated in a summer internship through The Washington Center in DC. I interned at the US Navy Photograph archives, it was an amazing experience.

What other experiences did you have that enriched your time as a student at UCA? I presented research at 3 conferences while I was a student at UCA.

What did you plan to do with your degree? I planned to go on and work towards a Ph.D.

How are you using your degree? I have been working in international education. A degree in history doesn’t directly translate to work in international education but many of the skills I learned at UCA I use every day in my work.

What disciplinary skills do you use most often in your current job? Most often I find myself using the research skills I learned from my history coursework. When you learn to research history you are not just learning History, you are taught to use databases, search engines, and most importantly project and time management. I also learned to be critical of what I read and found as sources which has been an asset not just at work but as a basic life skill.

What are your plans? What will your degree allow you to do/accomplish as you move forward? I plan on continuing to work in student services. While at UCA I had an advisor in the History Department (Dr. Little) that absolutely changed my life. She pushed me to perform at a higher level and showed me that even though I was a non-traditional older student I could achieve all the goals I set for myself. This experience is what made want to work with students in any way possible with the hope of being on the other side and being a positive mentor someday.

What is the most surprising/unexpected thing you learned about yourself during your time as a BS student at UCA? I was surprised at how much I loved learning about different places and cultures through historical research. This led me to go experience places first hand and to fall in love with traveling.

What advice would you give someone who wants to get a BS in history? Take as many different courses as you can. Eventually, you will fall in love with a particular field within history and that will improve the work that you produce. Also, find a mentor within the department. My mentor was the most valuable and rewarding relationship that I made while at UCA.