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Lucy Busch

Degree: BA History and BS in Math from UCA, M.A. in History from the University of Pittsburgh, M.A. in Teaching from Arkansas Tech University

When did you graduate? 2010 (Pitt—2013, ATU—2014)

What were some of the most rewarding/influential classes in your major?
The most rewarding courses for me were Tudor-Stuart with Dr. O’Hara, as I later wrote my Master’s thesis on Stuart legal history, and also A History of Witchcraft with Dr. Lucas because it introduced me to a variety of historical methodologies and showed me how it is that historians try to synthesize varying interpretations of any one event or period.

Where did you live? Farris, New, and Bear Village

What groups did you belong to?
I was in Honor’s College, Up ‘Til Dawn, and 80 Proof

Did you participate in any experiences outside the classroom in your major field?
Not that I recall… Double majoring in two totally different degrees, being in Honor’s College, and applying for graduate history programs was about all I had time for.

What other experiences did you have that enriched your time as a student at UCA?
The Honor’s College paid for me to study German in Lüneburg, Germany for six weeks during the summer before my senior year, which was an amazing cultural experience. I also actually enjoyed writing my Honor’s Thesis (which was partly historical) and my senior research paper for the history department. The pleasure I took in writing these were part of what convinced me to pursue a graduate degree in history.

What did you plan to do with your degree?
I planned to get a PhD in history and teach at the college level.

How are you using your degree?
While working on my Master’s in history, I decided I wanted to teach more than I wanted to research, so I finished my M.A. and then certified to teach at the secondary level. I’m now a high school math teacher. Getting my degrees in history, though, were experiences I cannot replace, even though they do not immediately pertain to my career. History will remain a passion and interest of mine, and I’m grateful for the writing and articulation skills I learned in seminars.

What disciplinary skills do you use most often in your current job?
Both taking seminars and being a Teaching Assistant for them helped me practice participating in and then facilitating productive educational conversations. Talking about history helps one know how to talk about ideas in a broader sense.

What are your plans? What will your degree allow you to do/accomplish as you move forward?
Right now I’m enjoying being a math teacher, but I have had school districts ask me if I would consider dual certification so I could teach history as well. This is something I am interested in doing once I’m a more experienced teacher.

What is the most surprising/unexpected thing you learned about yourself during your time as a BA student at UCA?
I suppose that if I wasn’t careful, I could turn school into an incredibly stressful thing when it should be about enjoying learning, exploiting every educational opportunity you can, and taking advantage of the one time in your life when you’re surrounded by specialists of all kinds of fields and topics who are eager to share them with you.

What advice would you give someone who wants to get a BA in history?
To spend a lot of time talking to the professors you have rapport with, learning about what kinds of careers studying history can lead you to. It’s a very rewarding, enjoyable discipline, but it takes some thought and planning to figure out what it means for one professionally.