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Marcus Witcher

Degree: BA
When did you graduate? 2011
What were some of the most rewarding/influential classes in your major? The most rewarding classes I took at UCA were America in Depression and War, U.S. Middle Eastern Relations with Dr. Welky, and World War I and Europe in the Global Era with Dr. Jones. These courses prepared me well for my graduate courses in Recent U.S. History and 20th Century Europe.
Where did you live? The Ridge Apartment Complex
What groups did you belong to? Phi Alpha Theta, Sigma Tau Delta, and Young Americans for Liberty.
Did you participate in any experiences outside the classroom in your major field? I presented papers at regional Phi Alpha Theta conferences. These provided excellent presentation experience and also helped me create a solid CV.
What other experiences did you have that enriched your time as a student at UCA? In addition to conference presentations, I received funding to do research in the National Archives in Washington D.C. This research trip enabled me to gather the primary sources necessary to write my honors thesis. The archival experience also served me well when I applied for graduate school, demonstrating that I had already done significant primary source research in large archives. Part of my honors thesis was ultimately published in the Journal of Applied Business and Economics. UCA provided me with incredible experiences that prepared me for graduate school.
What did you plan to do with your degree? I planned to go to graduate school.
How are you using your degree? My degree at UCA enabled me to get into the University of Alabama history department where I earned a MA and a PhD. I am currently teaching business and economic history as a Visiting Professor at West Virginia University.
What disciplinary skills do you use most often in your current job? I use my research, writing, and presenting skills every day in the classroom.
What are your plans? What will your degree allow you to do/accomplish as you move forward? I intend to continue teaching. Hopefully I will secure a tenure track job in history. Furthermore, I intend to publish my dissertation “Getting Right with Reagan: Conservatives and the Fortieth President, 1980-2016.”
What is the most surprising/unexpected thing you learned about yourself during your time as a BA student at UCA? I learned that I enjoyed research and the archives.
What advice would you give someone who wants to get a BA in history? If you are working towards a BA, and want to go to graduate school, become a member of Phi Alpha Theta and present your papers. Talk to your professors constantly, make revisions to your work, and don’t be afraid to submit book reviews and other work to journals. The best advice I ever received was “don’t tell yourself you can’t do something. There will be tons of people in life you tell you no and that you aren’t good enough. Always tell yourself yes and take every shot you get.”