Major Areas of Study: HISTORY
The discipline of History studies the record of civilization throughout the ages. The History program at Muskingum University demands and develops a broad perspective, analytical skills, and an ability to communicate with clarity and style, making it one of the most useful disciplines in a liberal arts curriculum.
Recent internships for History students include:
- Cataloging and archiving historic documents and artifacts (John and Annie Glenn Historic Site, Hayes Presidential Center, Massillon Museum)
- Historic Inventories of Homes (Indiana Historical Society)
- Serving as tour guides (Fort Pitt Museum, Roscoe Village, Hale Farm)
- Developing Educational programming (Roscoe Village)
- Living History/Historical Interpretation (John and Annie Glenn Historic Site, Hale Farm and Village, Roscoe Village)
- Developing a traveling exhibit for the Ohio Bicentennial (Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center)
History majors have recently participated in the following research activities:
- Conducting research at the Ohio Historical Society for Dr. Bil Kerrigan's book on Johnny Appleseed, developing GIS maps for this book, organizing notes and creating a database.
- Conducting oral histories with farmers displaced by strip mines and strip mine workers and census and archival research on 13 townships affected by surface mining in the second half of the 20th century.
- Researching and writing biographies of notable Muskingum alumni for use by the College's Development Office.
As a capstone project, the senior seminar requires that the History major thoroughly research prospective sources (both primary and secondary sources, and occasionally sources in a foreign language), assess the value and validity of said sources, develop a methodology to explore their chosen topic, and then write and re-write a polished final project. Some recent seminar topics include:
- "A Voice Crying Out in the Wilderness: The Confessing Christians in Germany, 1933-1945"
- "The Bloodiest Day: Antietam and the Maryland Campaign of 1862"
- "From Bouts of Honor to Honor Cultures: A Relational Look at Dueling and Honor with Focus on America's Southern Culture"
- "The Politics and Poetics of Mapping South Asia at a Major Art Museum in Washington, DC"
- "The Rise of the German National Socialist Party, 1919-1933"
Phi Alpha Theta is open to all students who have completed twelve credit hours in history and who hold a 3.0 GPA overall. PAT is a professional society whose mission is to promote the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians. It seeks to bring students, teachers and writers of history together for intellectual and social exchanges, which promote and assist historical research and publication by members in a variety of ways.
The History department employs 1-2 student assistants, performing general office tasks, assisting with web-page design and upgrading, and providing tutoring assistance to fellow students.
Students involved in the History honorary, Phi Alpha Theta, have the opportunity to present their work at the annual Spring meeting of the organizational branch in Ohio. Senior research projects can also be submitted for acceptance in a variety of regional history conferences.
- Jordan Eis ('09) recently completed her MA in History from University College Dublin, Ireland, and is currently Senator Mary Moran's full time parliamentary assistant in the Seanad (the upper house of the Oireachtas, the Irish parliament.)
- David Shahbodaghi ('10) is in medical school at West
Virginia University and is a Second Lt. in the U.S. Army.
- Troy Valasek ('11) majored in History, Business, and economics at Muskingum, before attending law school at the University of Akron. He writes:
"At the University of Akron School of Law, my focus was on Business/Corporate Law and eventually Oil and Gas/Environmental Law. In July 2014, I sat for the Ohio Bar Exam and was subsequently sworn in that November as a licensed attorney in the State of Ohio.
Currently I am an Attorney at Law and Landman of West Appalachia Assets for EnerVest Operating, L.L.C., a national oil and gas producer, headquartered in Charleston, West Virginia. I have been with EnerVest since August 2014 and work in EnerVest's field office located in Hartville, Ohio. My area of operations includes: Ohio, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky.
I would not be where I am today without my Muskingum education. In particular, my History Department courses provided me with not only the skills required to successfully complete law school but also objective lessons that I use every day in my personal life and profession."
An avid re-enactor for more than ten years, initially Civil War, Troy (left) now also participates in the Great War Association.
- Becka Hackett ('06) majored in history at Muskingum, then earned an
MA in Public History (Museum Studies) from
Middle Tennessee State in 2008. She writes:
"I am currently Assistant Site Director/Education Director at Historic Zoar Village and Fort Laurens. My first museum job was at the Cape Fear Museum of History and Science in Wilmington, NC, where I worked within their collections department. I then worked at the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, OH as their museum educator on the main campus in University Circle.
I wear many hats including education director, volunteer coordinator, IT tech, graphic designer, grant writer, collections assistant, and historian in my current job. I developed the award winning Free Speaker Series for Zoar and reinvigorated the long-standing Civil War School Day event, which brings 1000+ students to Zoar every September.
I use content, research, and critical thinking skills that I learned in my Muskingum History courses every day. I recently researched and presented a program on the Cholera Epidemic that affected Zoar in 1834. I am currently developing a timeline exhibit for the Zoar Bicentennial in 2017. Critical thinking skills are certainly useful when trying to write a program or to guide research. I think, however, that I use critical thinking skills the most when dealing with people. Whether it is an upset customer, a passionate volunteer, or a determined board member, critical thinking skills are important to identify the motivation behind a person’s words or actions, ask them the right questions, and resolve the situation."
Career Possibilities for History Majors (in general):
- Non-profit (museums, historical societies, etc.)
Recent History graduates have enrolled in the following graduate schools:
- University of Kentucky
- Indiana University
- University of Akron
- Kent State University
- Miami University (Ohio)
- Ohio University
- University of Delaware Winterthur Program
- Princeton Theological Seminary
- University of Cincinnati Law School
- Ball State University