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Nick Trusty

Degree: MA

When did you graduate? 2008

What were some of the most rewarding/influential classes in your major?
Dr. Foote’s classes really forced me to jump into the verbal participation aspect of Graduate courses. It was uncomfortable for me, but when you grade depends on it and Dr. Foote gives you a direct “fair warning” you just have to get it done. Learning that skill has been critical in my current teaching career.

Where did you live? Greenbrier, AR

What groups did you belong to?
I really didn’t get into this side and sometimes I wish that I had. While I was in school I had the Graduate Assistant job along with a full time job in the banking world. I just didn’t have time between those and my class load.

Did you participate in any experiences outside the classroom in your major field? History Day, it was a lot of fun. It was rewarding for me to be a judge along with the History department faculty. Having peer-level discussions with those individuals did a great deal for my confidence in my content knowledge.

What other experiences did you have that enriched your time as a student at UCA? Being a Graduate Assistant was very rewarding for me. Dr. Lucas was a wonderful person to have as an advisor during that time. In addition, the experiences with the other GAs and the other graduate students was amazing. The GA office was always abuzz with good dialogue and camaraderie. It was a priceless moment to look around a room full of a dozen graduate students all reading yet another book as fast as possible before class started in 2 hours.

What did you plan to do with your degree? I planned on getting a job either with the State or the Federal government working in a museum or public agency.

How are you using your degree? At first I used it very little, those above mentioned career options didn’t fall in line with my family’s needs. However, after several years in the banking field, I am now a Secondary level teacher with the Arch Ford Education Cooperative. I am currently teaching Social Studies and Language Arts at the Crossroads Alternative Learning Center on the Conway Jr. High Campus.

What disciplinary skills do you use most often in your current job?
Lots of content knowledge, analytical and critical thinking, and editing.

What are your plans? What will your degree allow you to do/accomplish as you move forward? I plan on staying in the teaching field until retirement. Already having my MA allows me several more opportunities as I build my experience. I plan to pursue Ed.D. studies after a few more years of classroom teaching.

What is the most surprising/unexpected thing you learned about yourself during your time as a MA student at UCA?That I was capable of performing at a higher educational level than I thought I could. Going into my orals, I didn’t know how on earth I was going to survive it. I knew I would just freeze and not be able to conduct myself, but that didn’t happen. Farthest from it, my board of professors may comment to the contrary, but I think I knocked it out of the park.

What advice would you give someone who wants to get a MA in history? Assuming you still have Oral exams before you can graduate, take them as early in your last year as possible. I took mine at the beginning of the semester, it takes the pressure off, plus if you don’t pass you still have time to reschedule and try again before graduation gets there. Also, when you pick your board, all the professors you think will be easier for you to handle, will in fact be the toughest. Dr. Foote, Dr. Pauly, and Dr. Barnes threw down in that exam. They even pulled in my undergraduate work in Anthropology and asked me to tie it all together…STUDY EVERYTHING!