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Shanna Wooten Jones

Degree: BA History

When did you graduate? Spring 2008

What were some of the most rewarding/influential classes in your major? American Women’s History & History of Witchcraft – Dr. Castro; World War I; Europe 1914-1949 – Dr. Jones; America in Depression & War – Dr. Welky; Seminar – Dr. Barnes

Where did you live? Mountaineer Apartments

What groups did you belong to? Phi Alpha Theta – History Honors Society; Alpha Sigma Alpha – Social Sorority; UCA Ambassadors; Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges

Did you participate in any experiences outside the classroom in your major field? No, unfortunately.

What other experiences did you have that enriched your time as a student at UCA? In the summer of 2007 I was able to study abroad at the University of Westminster in London and use the credits I earned toward my BA in History at UCA.

I chose to do my undergraduate thesis on the Daughters of the American Revolution and their relief efforts in the First World War, and this gave me extensive research experience that was helpful in both my education and my career.

What did you plan to do with your degree? I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with my degree. I just knew that I loved history and wanted a career in a related field, and my degree has helped me achieve that.

How are you using your degree? I am an Archivist for the William J. Clinton Foundation. I began my career as an Archives Technician for the National Archives and Records Administration at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library.

What disciplinary skills do you use most often in your current job? The skills I acquired while researching my undergraduate thesis have become very useful in my current job. I learned how records are kept and how to find what I needed. This knowledge helps me determine the best way to preserve and organize the records I work with every day.

What are your plans? What will your degree allow you to do/accomplish as you move forward? I plan to continue my work as an Archivist. As a History major, I did a fair amount of research in libraries and archives. This experience allows me to view my work through the lens of a researcher, which is extremely helpful in my career as I preserve documents that might eventually be used in future research projects by other students and historians.

What is the most surprising/unexpected thing you learned about yourself during your time as a History student at UCA? I learned that I loved History. It was always interesting to me, but it was because of the UCA History Department that I realized just how much I loved it. I also learned to think for myself and pursue my own interests, rather than follow a pre-planned course of study that many majors require for all of its students. As a history major, I had so many options to choose from, and I was able to tailor my education to my own interests and specialties.

What advice would you give someone who wants to get a BA in History? Take the courses that truly interest you, especially if they are unique, because those are the courses you will remember long after you graduate. The courses that focus on specific interests that are the most fun and make your time as a history major so enjoyable. If a professor loves a specific/unique topic so much that they can create an entire class around it, then that’s an excellent sign that the professor will be enthusiastic and interesting, and that the class will be enjoyable and memorable.