CLASS OF 1980
Jason C. Moriarty Moriartyj@us.tigplc.com
I must confess that my history major was one of default rather than choice. As a pre-med student my focus was on the sciences until the scholastic reality of Medical school, sank in. Dickinson's balance of liberal arts studies afforded me the opportunity to finish school (as a History major) and make my way into a very uncertain future.
My career path--the last 18 years--has been primarily in the Information Technology realm. I am currently a managing consultant for a national consulting firm specializing in providing architectural solutions to Fortune 100 companies. Many of the most successful people I have encountered have been graduates of liberal arts colleges with degrees in fields other than Computer Science. They say that the 2 professions that produce the best quality programmers are teachers and artists. They say it's due to their ability to think and communicate abstractly. I would agree.
While the History major itself may not have played the most significant role in my future, I can say that it helped me see that there are lessons to be learned in everything that we do. And history--despite what Henry Ford may have said--allows one to witness, learn and most definitely improve upon the situation. Whatever that situation may be. (posted 2000)
Chris A. Paul firstname.lastname@example.org
My majors at Dickinson were History and International Studies. For some additional seasoning, I took as many classes in Religion and Russian Literature as I could fit in as well. One regret is that I was unable to take advantage of the programs abroad, perhaps one of the few International Studies majors to be in this position. This choice of majors meant that academics at Dickinson were a source of pleasure, not just the process of accumulating credits. To this day reading and exploring history remain one of my favorite activities. These majors led me to law school, in part because of mercenary needs, and in part because a commitment to the United States Army meant either law school or the prospect of loss of hearing assigned to an artillery unit.
I attended law school at William and Mary where I cannot say that the History major was of any particular help, but I certainly knew how to think, write, and organize for success, and was better equipped to deal with the stress of law school than many of my classmates. Following law school I spent four years in the Army as a JAG officer in an Infantry Division based in California. What this meant was most days functioning as a lawyer (prosecuting and defending soldiers, or developing legal sections for operations plans), and a lot of other days being deployed to various garden spots in Central America and the Far East.
After the Army I worked in a corporate law department for seven years in Pennsylvania and Oklahoma, eventually landing in a non-legal management job within the company. A large Dallas based law firm asked me to start practice with them in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which I then did for three years, until I started a firm with a few friends here in Tulsa in 2000. My two partners are both engineers by training before they went to law school.
This means that we get to do many technical cases, where they can deal with the technical issues, but I tell them and our clients that they need me to communicate the issues to the jury since engineers are not capable of effectively doing so (I say this in jest, but there is a core of truth to it).
I did get to teach history as an adjunct at the Community College system in Tulsa for a few years. It was great fun, and they paid me to do it even after I said they did not have to.
It has certainly not been a boring ride, and this is without even relating the stories of my family and our travels, travails, and successes. My history with History is mostly that I know there is a big, interesting and constantly changing world, and things expected and unexpected happen, and we can help shape, but are mostly shaped, by our experiences and perspectives. (posted 2000)
Douglas Plympton email@example.com
I probably recall some aspect of my education in history at Dickinson at least once every week, either in the context of my work, or in dealing with my daughters and their educations. Although I don't use my background in research or historical analysis directly in my day to day activities, I feel comfortable saying that I would not be where I am, without it.
Currently, I manage the Canadian inside sales team for a British based anti-virus software company called, Sophos. As such, I rarely dredge up long forgotten and inadequately archived details of course work in US Diplomatic History, or the history of the British crown, but without doubt those experiences enable me to focus and deliver value to my employers and customers alike. (posted 2000)
CLASS OF 1982
Georgia Pappas Dudley firstname.lastname@example.org
I went to Widener University School of Law, had three children, and stayed home for about seven years. Then I worked at their elementary school part time for four years. When my youngest started school, I started working for an insurance defense firm part time. This is my sixth year working as a part time attorney. When I first started, the firm did not want any part time attorneys, so I worked as a law clerk. Now they have come to realize that stay-at-home moms can be very valuable assets working part time, and have not only allowed me to make my own hours but have hired two women with children looking for similar work conditions, and allowed two others who had children while they worked to return to work after maternity leave on an indefinite part time basis.
Careers today are so demanding (10 hour work days, 6 day work weeks) that having both parents working professionally can leave no time for family life. I can say that it is possible to put family first, and still use a college and graduate education in a part time job. I think this is a new trend in our society. It is happening as women like myself enter the work force, willing to work hard and contribute great deal, but not willing to give up the precious time with our children.
I was so excited when my freshman advisor at Dickinson told me I didn't have to major in political science to be prepared for law school. He told me I could major in anything I wanted. So, of course, I chose history. My oldest child is a junior in high school, and he is considering majoring in history. (posted 2000)
Cindy Raiton Raitonc@aol.com
Since my graduation at Dickinson College, I have been working in international sales and marketing for the leading book wholesalers.
I worked from 1982 - 1995 for a company that was owned by W. R. Grace, called Baker & Taylor, which is the largest US book wholesaler. I was Sales Director travelling the world setting up deals with major bookstores overseas to supply them with US books. In 1991 W. R. Grace divested themselves of B&T and the Carlyle Group an investment firm in Wash., D.C. organized a management buyout. From 1991 - 1995 I was the Director of Business Development and spent those years travelling in the developing world working with projects funded by the aid agencies (World Bank, USAID, Regional Dev. Banks, etc...) that supported educational projects involving the sale of books. I spent many years travelling throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America.
I became an independent contractor in 1995 and have been doing this since that time. I work with US bookwholesalers that do not have any international divisions in setting up their business with my international contacts. I have successfully completed deals with Amazon overseas to supply them with many of their US books. (posted 2000)
Tracy Wisniewski email@example.com
I am sorry that I didn't send this response off sooner, but I was travelling for business 6 out of the last 8 weeks of the year and just did not have time to do this any sooner.
I majored in both History and English at Dickinson. Although my career path is not an obvious match to my undergraduate studies, I firmly believe that my liberal arts background has been the most important part of my success at Lucent Technologies. I started with AT&T as a Technical Writer working on data and optical networking products documentation. Although my writing skills were top-notch, I had to learn some highly technical product specifications which was certainly a challenge. From there, I became a Systems Engineer, responsible for writing the technical requirements for our software developers to use in producing our management system software. I also did an extensive amount of pre-sales work, giving demonstrations and technical overviews of our products. It was during this period that Lucent Technologies was spun off and that became my new employer. From there I became a Technical Manager with responsibility for Customer Engineering. My team was responsible for all of the deployment and maintenance of our software products globally. Currently, I have left the technical side of the company and have become a Sales Director serving our Global Crossing customer. I have responsibility for all their subsea and network management sales globally. I am doing projects in Africa, South America, Japan, and in the U.K. currently.
I would be happy to talk about my career path with any of your history majors. It is certainly not the typical path of business or law school! (posted 2000)
CLASS OF 1983
John Philips firstname.lastname@example.org
I am currently the Social Studies Coordinator and Head Teacher at the Bedminster School in Bedminster, New Jersey. I am in my 12th year at the school. Since I teach history, my experience at Dickinson is one that I never forget. I still refer to my class notes and books from college. I even borrow test questions from past exams. I currently teach American History, but when I started at the school, I taught both world and American history. After graduation, I earned a Masters in Theology from Rutgers University with a concentration in the Reformation and 19th century American Protestant philosophy and another masters from Princeton in divinity.
I've been working on several projects, but the presence of a wife and two kids have made it difficult to finish them. (posted 2000)
Gregory Zimmerman email@example.com
I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1986 where I was on the Law Review and was fortunate to be elected to the Order of the Coif. From September, 1986, through September, 1987, I was a law clerk for the Honorable Joseph J. Longobardi, United States District Court for the District of Delaware in Wilmington, Delaware. In 1987, I joined Venable, Baetjer and Howard in Baltimore, one of Maryland's oldest and largest firms. In 1994, I left Venable to join The Rouse Company in Columbia, Maryland as in-house counsel. Rouse is traded on the NYSE and is one of the nation's premier shopping center and master-planned community developers. In 1999, my wife Robin, '83, also a history major, and I were transferred to Las Vegas, Nevada, where Rouse owns The Howard Hughes Corporation, the remnants of Howard Hughes's estate and the leading real estate developer in Nevada. Earlier this year, I moved from the legal side of the Company to the business side. I am now a Development Director. In this role, I am responsible for all aspects of the renovation and expansion of Fashion Place, a 1,000,000 square foot mall in Salt Lake City, Utah with a budget in excess of $120M. While at Dickinson, I spent one semester in London at the Institute for European Studies.
Robin and I were the co-chairs of the Baltimore Alumni Admissions Committee from 1987 until we moved to Las Vegas in 1999. I was on the Alumni Council from 1993-1998, serving as president from 1997--1999. I am currently in the last year of a 4 year ex officio term on the Dickinson Board of Trustees. (posted 2000)
CLASS OF 1984
Lisa Ann Deon Lad462@aol.com
Received Paralegal Certificate in 1985 -
Worked as a Paralegal in the Trust and Investment Group of First Pennsylvania Bank, now First Union.
Currently employed as the Chief of Staff to PA State Representative Matthew Wright (R- Bucks County).
Owner of Cafe Abruzzi in Langhorne Bucks County PA
My job as a Chief of Staff involves researching problems and laws. My History education taught me logical thinking in order to fully complete a research project. The discipline learned as a history major is unmatched. (posted 2000)
Amy Na firstname.lastname@example.org
All of life is a document based question. We spend our days and nights compiling information, impressions, relationships, responsibilities and knowledge to interpret and respond to the world around us. Everybody should be a history major.
My name was Amy Visco at Dickinson, but I married and changed my name to Amy Na. I graduated in 1984 with a degree in history and International Studies and a minor in English. I was a student in Bologna, Italy from 1982-1983. History and especially history at Dickinson has helped me in all that I do. I was fortunate to study under Professors Garrett, Osborne and Rhyne. I learned from their wisdom and knowledge. More than anything, they taught me an even deeper love of history. Their efforts echoed my high school history teacher, Mr. John Calpin, who gave me my first document based question.
Now, I am an ordained Presbyterian minister in the PC(USA). After college, I worked for two years before entering Princeton Theological Seminary. I graduated in 1989 and became a missionary in Naples, Italy (Bologna/ Rhyne influence) for the next four years.
Today, I am at home with my three children while I work part time as a chaplain in a retirement home. In seminary I aced church history and I have always approached life and times that includes arguments, sermons and child rearing among other things from an historical context. (posted 2000)
Mary Jean O'Sullivan (nee McDonald) email@example.com
To say that majoring in history at Dickinson has had an effect on my life would be understating it a bit. I remember watching Clark Garrett as a freshman and thinking how great it would be to know all that he knew and to share it in the relaxed, interesting way he did. He was a huge influence on me, as was John Osborne. They encouraged my thinking and actually took what I said and wrote seriously, and responded to both in a like manner. When I graduated, I found I missed the intellectual pursuit of the classrooms. Consequently, after about 18 months in the NYC real world, I enrolled in the graduate history department at New York University and eventually received my Ph.D. in 1993. (My dissertation looked at the evolution of child advocacy within the postwar welfare state; focused on the Citizens' Committee for Children of NY.) Since then, I've published an article in Child Welfare based on the dissertation; contributed to The Encyclopedia of New York City; written a piece on the history of the New York State Children's Court for NY's Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children, published as part of a larger piece of the Commission's on juvenile justice; and am currently working on contributing some pieces for a new Who's Who Among American Women. I've also been teaching fairly steadily throughout New Jersey, most recently at Seton Hall, where I've been since 1998. With four kids produced in between, it's been difficult to keep up the writing, and I've been frustrated by the semi-temporary status of my teaching jobs, but teaching is what I truly love, so I'll take whatever status I can get. I don't think too many people can say that their undergraduate experience absolutely shaped their professional lives. I'm very grateful to Dickinson's history department for that. (posted 2000)
CLASS OF 1985
Peter Churchill firstname.lastname@example.org
I graduated in '85 and for a while thought of teaching History/ Social Studies since I went through the Education Minor program. I decided to enter the business world, and today find myself representing one of the larger architectural and engineering firms in the country, HLW, and I also consult part-time to a small Business Consulting firm, Harding & Co., teaching sales and business development to professionals.
Though my being a History Major does not play a crucial role in my daily life, it does play an active role. The greatest thing about being a History major is that you study the world, and all that fits into it. Hence, one becomes a bit of a Renaissance person without really trying. I love the fact that I know a bit about most things that have shaped our culture. Granted I have forgotten much and there are many things unfamiliar to me (never learned or studied), yet I am pleased to be where I am, and I owe much of this to my studies. Given all that I had to read, sometimes 30-40 books in a semester, and the amount of papers I had to write, too many to count or remember (I almost did a second minor in English), Dickinson as a whole, taught me to think. Thanks. (posted 2000)
David H. Ferrall email@example.com
Let me start by saying that I was never much of a student, nor terribly interested in academic pursuits. But I always had a love of history, and though I felt my future was in business, I can still hear my father saying "spend these next four years in college studying what interests you, not what you will spending the rest of your life doing." Wonderful paternal wisdom that served me well.
I therefore entered the History Department my sophmore year with fairly dismal grades. That being said, summer school was in my future. At my parent's urging, I enrolled in the summer-semester-abroad program in Britain, taught by John Osborne and Mary Moser. The courses were Roman Britain and the Industrial Revolution. The physical aspects of both classes were overwhelming to me, I was wide-eyed and awed at every new site. Off syllabus sites were also explored, I stare now on my wall at the picture of Stonehenge I took that summer, on my first of many visits there. The experience of seeing and feeling England's history firsthand was a profound awakening. I had the feeling then that a life changing moment had occured, but it wasn't until after graduation that the lure of Europe again called.
I spent my last two years at Dickinson with a renewed interest in history. My GPA almost doubled, and I enjoyed related courses such as Art History and French. The latter being a real influence on me, as later in life when I was in a position to need a second and third language it sort of came readily (I thus heartily endorse Dickinson's language requirement, though that's another ramble..). I spent my remaining summers in Washington in the securities department at Riggs National Bank, and interned at Prudential Bache Securities in Harrisburg. Thus I was enjoying History in study, and business on my own time.
After graduation I spent half a year in Harrisburg at a local radio station, an interest I had aquired at WDCV. But I really wanted to get into the money business, and get back to Europe. After my girlfriend (and now wife) Elizabeth spent the summer of 1986 on the Britain program, the UK again called to my senses and I went back to London to look for a job. Through the friend-of-a-friend I hooked up with a Dutch financer who hired me to teach me the derivatives business in Amsterdam. I was good at the wheeling-dealing environment of exchange floors, and worked for this fellow for several years in Amsterdam and London, and set up a business for him in Philadelphia and New York. But I wanted my own firm, and with several Dutch partners and a large bank, we opened one up in Amsterdam in 1991. When I left the partnership five years later, we were a sizeable firm with traders in Amsterdam, London, Frankfurt, and Singapore. Elizabeth and I had just had our first child, and we thought it was time for us to return to the US. After several years living in the Wall Street suburb of Fairfield County, Connecticut, we relocated to the slower paced lifestyle of the Charlottesville, VA countryside where we now reside. I remain an active member of the Eurex, the largest derivatives exchange in the world. I trade mornings over phone lines that route from our farm to a nuclear bomb-proof bunker in Frankfurt, where the exchange is located. The wonders of technology never cease to amaze...
I can honestly say a day never went by when I lived in Europe that I didn't revel in the history of everyday life that surrounded me. A simple walk around Amsterdam's canals, or through London's business district was always enlivening. And Elizabeth and I sought this enlightenment together with extensive travel. Though living in the present, I always felt the presence of the past. This feeling I will always carry with me, though sadly I find it harder to replicate in the US. But the world will always call to us, and we look forward to sharing it with our three daughters in the years ahead.
Sorry to ramble, but your letter has provoked deep emotional happiness which I could never succinctly put into words. Sufice to say my Dickinson experience, through fluke or destiny, opened up and developed my love for most things historical. John Osborne showed me to how to appreciate the past, and Becky Kline (Professor, French) showed me a different way to enjoy the present. To them and to the Dickinson community I am eternally grateful.
Please feel free to use these thoughts as you see fit. I am not terribly active in Dickinson today, though I am an Admissions alumni representative for this area. I invite any and all contact from prospective, current, and alumni Dickinsonians. (posted 2000)
Rich Hayes firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for the note. Let me give you my quick thoughts and perspectives 16 years after graduation:
First: Clark Garrett taught me to have passion for what you do else don't do it. I have learned that if your heart is not in it you will reach no lasting success. As a sophomore I gathered I should commit to the study of history for deep personal reasons, not just the motivations of the moment. The best moment of my history career came when he shook my hand after I received the senior history honors award.
Second: John Osborne taught me the rule of P6; Prior preparation prevents piss poor performance. Pardon the French but that phrase has earned me more professional success than any other facet of study while at Dickinson. Hands down, I owe much of my professional success to John.
Third: Neil Weissman taught me to sign up with a revolution. It's the fastest way to advance and take advantage of change. To that end I got involved with computers and information management shortly after graduation. The rest is history (chapter 1) and I have built a solid professional career in information services. The future is bright.
Fourth: Jim Carson taught me to never throw out a book. They are of perpetual value. His books provided this student useful employment in the Summer or '83, boxing and moving them from Denny Hall for renovation. Can I still apply for workers' comp?
Bottom line is majoring in History allowed me to fully pursue a passion to a degree I could not have done since. Although now an amateur historian, I believe I carry skills and capabilities that distinguish me professionally and uniquely from others in my field. If nothing else I have a great library and a ready stream of unread books that connects me to my college roots. That in itself is contentment. (posted 2000)
Heidi Hormel email@example.com
Since graduation I followed a number of paths but most recently I finished my masters in Journalism at Temple University was a newspaper reporter and editor and have since moved back to my alma mater as assistant director of media relations.
While I did not go into a field that is directly related to history, the research methods I learned as a history major certainly were helpful when I was tracking down a story. I would also say, in general, my interest in history continued through my job as I researched some old myths for the newspaper and covered a variety of events and stories that had history at its core.
Of course, history was also helpful when I had to take that Journalism History course for my masters.
As far as study abroad, I did that as an undergraduate and graduate. I was at the University of Durham (before it became a place just for classics students). I had a chance to study archaeology--what a blast. I felt that I learned a lot about looking at the landscape and buildings to determine their history and to think about history and the past in ways other than written word. And having done my junior year abroad, I was eager and more than willing to do a short course in London as part of graduate studies, which focused on journalism. (posted 2000)
Chris Kennedy CKPACKER@aol.com
I was a History and English major, choosing the former because I enjoyed it so much and the latter because I found it interesting and challenging. I wound up enjoying 19th Century European History as well as Puritan Poetry and Barbara Pym. A rare combination, I guess.
After a number of years working at smaller papers and doing a variety of things, I recently started covering the New England Patriots for the Springfield Union-News/Sunday Republican, a daily paper in western Massachusetts where I have worked for the last eight years. I have had a chance to travel fairly often, covering both a men's and women's Final Four as well as a Super Bowl along the way. I still remember a day my senior year walking past Old West and asking Prof. Winston if he thought I could work as a journalist. He said sure. I'm still not sure, though, whether I should thank him or curse him. Just kidding. There are, of course, many intangible benefits from my education that have helped me as a sports writer, but I am also somewhat surprised that there have been so many practical ones.
Most notably, I can never make a statement in a story without immediately thinking that I need some sort of evidence, either a statistic or a quote to back it up. I have both disciplines to thank for that.
I also often think back to the lists of causes and effects that history teachers like Prof. Weissman used to love to jot on the chalk board. So often, the most important part of writing stories is deciding what fact is at the root of the issue and which are simply causes or effects, then making that all clear as efficiently as possible.
I think my favorite history course, Introduction to History with Prof. Garrett, and the passion of teachers such as Prof. Osborne for their subject matter showed me just how important the past is and traditions are to every individual. I see that often, such as recently when I did some stories about the 1972 undefeated Miami Dolphins. The past was still very much a part of their present.
Studying Shakespeare's sonnets with Prof. Krantz or Puritan poetry with Prof. Winston drove home the importance for a writer to select every word carefully, that every phrase, image, analogy or whatever needs to relate or at least be comfortable with every other word you've written.
My studies in the History and English departments prepared me to write, but also taught ways to approach and analysis my work. I just wish I knew about spell check back then. (posted 2000)
Paul Riggs firstname.lastname@example.org
Earned Ph.D in history in 1997 (University of Pittsburgh). Currently teaching full-time in the Department of History at Valdosta State University in southern Georgia. Became Department Head in 2003. (posted 2000)
Robert Rose Bigbadbob1@aol.com
The only change I have is that I haven't been a LT for a while. Should now list me as Commander or CDR . . . (posted 2000)
CLASS OF 1987
James Delsordo email@example.com
This is in response to your request for information concerning the impact of the B.A. in History that I received from Dickinson in 1987. As with many Dickinsonians, after graduation I entered law school and received a J.D. from George Washington in 1990. After GW in order to fulfill my ROTC obligations I entered active duty in the Army as a JAG officer. After my Army service was done, I entered the private practice of law with several small and large law firms, and I currently have my own law firm in Northern Virginia.
Studying History in college provided me with several benefits. As a history buff I was able to study and get a degree in an area that interested me. My history courses taught me how to sift great masses of information to identify the salient portions of a document or issue. Studying history instilled in me important research skills that I use everyday as an attorney. Finally, because human nature has not changed much since Ogg and Ulg had a dispute over who got to take the choicest cut from the Mammoth they killed, I believe studying history has given me insights into the motivations of my clients and their opponents. (posted 2000)
Jeffery Hartley firstname.lastname@example.org
History has indeed had an effect on my life and career. After graduating from Dickinson in 1987, I took a semester off because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I knew that I didn't want to teach or go to law school, but that I did want to pursue a higher-level history degree. With that and a love of books in mind, I discovered the HiLS program at the University of maryland College Park. It is a dual degree program designed to educate/train archivists (see http://www.clis.umd.edu/academics/programs/mlsarch.html). Two and a half years later I obtained an M.A. in History (concentrating on American colonial history) and an M.L.S. (Master of Library Science). While at UMCP I had one internship with the Center for Legislative Archives, part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). After graduating from Maryland in 1990 I took an intermittent position in the NARA Library, and 5 months later obtained a full-time position. I am currently the Senior Reference/Systems Librarian for the NARA Library (http://www.nara.gov/alic/index.html). The program at Maryland trained me to be an archivist or a librarian, and now I'm a librarian in an archives--it's a very nice fit. My coursework at Dickinson ably prepared me for graduate school, and both programs prepared me well for my professional career.
NARA does have an internship program for students interested in archival or library work. Information on these opportunities is available on the NARA web site at http://www.nara.gov/professional/intern/intern.html. Summer employment in the Library or elsewhere in the agency is also sometimes a possibility. I would welcome the opportunity to talk with anyone about my experiences at Dickinson, NARA, library school or the archival/library profession in general.
Michael Hoffman email@example.com
Great website. It is good to see what fellow alums have done with their lives and careers post-Dickinson and how they have made use of their history degrees.
As for me, I attended law school at the American University's Washington College of Law immediately following graduation from Dickinson, and earned a JD, with honors, in 1990. At WCL, I served on the law school's International Law Journal as well as served as president of the school's law fraternity. During law school, I clerked for the Legal Division of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in Washington, DC where I worked on assisted acquisitions and transactions involving troubled banking institutions. I clerked in the Washington, DC office of Arter & Hadden law firm during my final year of law school, and accepted a position with the 500-attorney firm following my law school graduation. My practice included appellate litigation as well as administrative work before numerous state and federal agencies and courts. In 1992, I accepted a position as corporate counsel and Director of Regulatory Affairs for a start-up telecommunications company in Dallas, Texas called VarTec Telecom, Inc. Nearly nine years and several promotions later, today I serve the $1 billion global telecom company as its Executive Vice President for Legal and Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel. VarTec currently has operations in the United Kingdom, Germany and Mexico in addition to the U.S. My Dickinson education and History major have certainly significantly contributed to my understanding of the world and ability to perform my various responsibilities. In 1996, I married Jackie Balkin, a health care attorney who had been working for the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Jackie and I purchased a home in Dallas and, to date, have filled it with a chocolate lab and two sons Jake (20 months) and Aaron (2 weeks old). (posted 2000)
Shawn Thornton firstname.lastname@example.org
I graduated from Dickinson in 1987 with a major in History and a Teaching Certificate. For the past 14 years I've been a teacher at Stroudsburg H.S. in Stroudsburg, PA and have taught US History I & II (Constitution to the present), World History and Cultures, Economics, Sociology and Psychology. My education at Dickinson has been instrumental in my success as a teacher, not just because of my History classes (from which my old notebooks and class books have always come in handy), but also because of the overall Dickinson experience that enabled me to grow as a person who could have a positive impact on my students. Currently I am out of the classroom, having taken a position as Dean of Students at the school. I also have served as the head basketball coach for the past 9 years. I would welcome any inquiries from students about what my Dickinson experience has done for me, most especially from anyone thinking about going into education. Thanks for your initial inquiry.
2002 up-date: When I last responded I was out of the classroom serving as Dean of Students of Stroudsburg High School. Well, this year I decided to go back into the classroom and am teaching Economics, Sociology, and 20th Century American History. In addition, I have recently moved into a new house at 240 Greenview Drive, Stroudsburg, PA 18360. My new phone number is (570) 992-6633. Again, I welcome any contacts/inquiries from alumni, friends and/or current Dickinsonians who are interested in pursuing teaching as their profession. (posted 2000)
CLASS OF 1988
John Keane John.Keane@converg.com
I graduated from Dickinson in 1988. My grades were good, but not perfect due to too much time in my fraternity and not enough time in the library. I woke up second semester Junior year with the realization that I needed to do something to get into a good graduate school. I studied a lot, partied a little less and began my search for graduate schools with decent history programs. Applying for graduate school is a lot like applying for college, you have to take tests and fill out applications. The key is to figure out which programs will need more students of a certain type. Racial and gender biases aside, if a program has 4 professors all of whom graduated or lost students, they will be looking for more people. This can result in some unusual dynamics where students who may not be in the top slots may be picked before others because the professor knows that next year he is going to need a teaching assistant for a particular series of courses.
I sent out 24 applications and received two acceptances that I thought were worth while. NYU and Boston College. The day after graduation I got on a plane and went to NYU. After five minutes I realized that I would go crazy in New York. I opted to go to Boston College. When I got there I was assigned an advisor. I cannot stress how important the advisor is to you. Mine decided to go Israel and go into politics my second semester. In a two year masters program the first paper I wrote as a graduate student turned out to be my masters thesis. It was very hard. Additionally, once he left I was basically without an advisor. I finished the program pretty much on my own. I decided to continue and get my doctorate in Medieval history. One advantage that I had was that my Dickinson advisor had suggested that I get into a masters program first, get good grades and then apply for a doctorate somewhere else. With better grades, I received a series of hand written rejection letters, and a few offers. I decided to attend the University of Virginia. My advisor was a well known historian who really stressed knowledge of languages. Since I am dyslexic learning languages from books is very hard. To get your doctorate in Medieval history you need to know at least 3 additional languages. Every summer for the next 6 years I was in an intensive language program, Latin took forever.....I learned to read French in two weeks......It took 2 years of work to get to the point where I could read German. My first advisor was a control freak, going to the point where he would tell his female students when they could plan on having their children. He took total control over his students lives. The bonus was that as long as none of them did anything to get him mad, they finished their degrees and he got them their first contract positions. This is very important. Unfortunately I did not get along with my advisor too well, after he told me that I could not study the area that I wanted because he already had a student working on that area.
I switched advisors. This also had its problems, this guy had not had a student finish his program in 13 years. I found this out after I had been his student for 3 years. I finished my classes and wanted to get some more teaching experience. I was not able to get a class to teach because I did not get a teaching assistantship when I was at Boston College (problem with not having an advisor to get you into these things) Finally after a lot of effort I was granted a class to teach, it was fun. I was also studying for my oral exams. My area covered was 400-1700ad anywhere from Iceland to Moscow East West and Norway to Alexandria Egypt North-South, one of the virtues of not having an advisor was that I took a lot of courses in a wide area of subjects. This came back to haunt me for my orals. I read 2 books a day for 3 months to get ready. (going through 2 changes in my eyeglasses) I passed my orals, the first person to do it in my department in a year without having to go back and retake them. Following this ordeal I began working on my dissertation, I wrote it 5 times after my advisor suddenly decided that I was unable to write the English language. Finally I threw up my hands, often times your department will not let you graduate until you have a job lined up, this is done to keep the value of their degrees high. Of the 30 people who entered my UVA program I know of 4 who graduated with their doctorate, many like myself are ABD. (All but Dissertation) I was also trying to get a job in academics during the height of the political correctness craze, no one wanted to hire teachers for "dead white male" medieval history, and if they had to they were not going to hire a white male. The job outlook is bad. On average there are 250 applications for each position available. You cannot get a tenure track position out of the slot, you have to get one or two contract positions first. The competition is very tough.
Finally my wife to be got a job in Georgia, I left Virginia to be with her, it turned out to be the best decision I made since I graduated from Dickinson. It was hard to get a job in the real world because I was not "qualified" but finally some companies realized that I had excellent reading and recall skills (from years of study) as well as a good understanding of technology (Earned by working at the university library for 3 years when we went from a paper card catalogue to one of the best web based libraries in the country.) I got a job, then I got a good job, after hard work I got a great job. Now I change the way companies do work, as a Business Process Engineer I make about 5x more than I would as a full professor. The trade off is that I have very little personal time and I am on planes several times a month. I would not do the graduate school in history thing again knowing what I now know. It is a hard life with little financial reward, those who succeed at it are testaments to their determination and commitment to education. Expect long years of sacrifice and poverty before you begin to see the tangible fruits of such an endeavor. (posted 2000)
Kelly Stewart email@example.com
I wish I had known about this site earlier. After graduating from Dickinson College in 1988 with a BA in History and Political Science, I entered into the United States Secret Service as an officer/agent. In 1996 I opted to enter the private workforce with Kinko's, Inc. in sales and eventually help create a vertical market in education as their Market Director for the Washington Metropolitan area. In 2000 I moved into the dot.com craze and had the fortunate experience of being employed with two firms that provided computer security, computer fraud and disaster recovery. Although this experience was brief due to market trends, unrealistic expectations, and pressure from the VC firms, it did present itself with many opportunities and benefits in learning about different
and developing technologies. I was laid off in 2002 but was able to immediately land a position with Security Services & Technologies, Inc. in Alexandria, VA--the third largest security systems firm in the nation. During this time frame (1996 - 2002) I received my MBA and Master's in Project Management at Keller Graduate School of Management.
It was taught not only at Dickinson but through my family that you must have a sense of History. Studying history at Dickinson provided many benefits and opportunities, both in private life and professionally. It formed the basis of using many of the techniques I used in researching and examining files as well as planning strategies for particular markets. For instance, with the Secret Service we would analyze every step of the protective operation, record unusual incidents, and suggest improvements for the future after a presidential visit to a particular city. The Secret Service actively used history to ensure that their mission was maintained and kept in check. History at Dickinson gave me ample preparation in performing my work as well as helping me achieve my graduate degrees. (posted 2000)
Dave Webster firstname.lastname@example.org
Following graduation, I entered the education field as a teacher and coach at the Hun School in Princeton, NJ. For two years, I taught 9th and 10th grade history and enjoyed immensely spreading the excitiement for the study of history. After those two challenging years, I decided to devote myself full-time to the pursuit of coaching on the college level. After ten successful seasons of coaching elsewhere, I was offered the job of head Men's Lacrosse coach and Assistant Athletic Director at Dickinson. It has been most rewarding to return to my alma mater and work with the student-athletes here. One of the most time consuming aspects of college coaching, is recruiting. So, now I meet with families and prospects and share with them my passion for Dickinson in general and the history department in particular.
My study of history at Dickinson helped prepare me to be a strong communicator. Not only did we need to express ourselves in writing and in speech but then our ideas were challenged. I firmly believe that I learned to be confident in my thoughts and in my convictions. This has certainly served me well in working with young people. I am also quite confident that I absorbed much from the various teaching styles within the department. While our Dickinson professors utilized a myriad of teaching styles, they all shared an enthusiasm for the subject and for learning. This is what I hope to accomplish as a coach!
I remain an avid reader of history and am convinced of the value of studying this discipline. In fact, in light of recent global events this study is probably even more significant. (posted 2000)
CLASS OF 1989
Mario Einaudi email@example.com
I graduated from Dickinson in 1989 without a clear idea of where I was headed. I had enjoyed very much my time at Dickinson, but frankly had graduated without a clear goal in mind. I worked for several law firms in Washington DC thinking that law was a possible direction for me. But I soon discovered that it was not and so entered into the Graduate Program at George Washington University to earn a MA in history. I found during my graduate work that my true passion was in doing the historical research that went into writing what seemed to be the innumerable papers that one must write. But upon earning my MA in 1994, I found it difficult to find work that satisfied this passion. Ultimately I wound up in Tucson, Arizona, working for a friend. It was there that I began to work for the Arizona Historical Society (AHS), first as volunteer, then full time as an archivist. I learned on the job, becoming a journeyman archivist, if you will. The skills of historical research and writing that I first learned at Dickinson and later honed at George Washington were finally put to full use.
In 1998, at the encouragement of my then fiancée, now wife (Jana and I were married in 1999), I left Tucson and moved to Los Angeles. Shortly after I moved, I was hired by the Huntington Library to work in the Technical Services Department, as the cataloging unit is called, on a long term project--processing and cataloging a very large collection of maritime ephemera. The John Haskell Kemble Maritime Ephemera Collection contains materials (brochures, schedules, passenger lists, even soap wrappers) from over 600 companies--including Cunard, White Star, and United States Lines--covering a date range of 1856 to 1989. Working at the Huntington Library (www.huntington.org), which is home to one the largest collections of rare books and manuscripts in the United States, has been a real pleasure. I have been able to work on several interesting projects, including rare maps and art education materials from the late 19th Century. It has been a long road from Dickinson to the Huntington, but a fruitful one. I graduated from Dickinson with no clear goal, but have found, like many others, that working in an academic setting such as a library or an archive is a perfect fit for a history major. I welcome any email from current students or alums who are interested in talking with me about my circuitous educational path or the Huntington. (posted 2000)
Lee Anne Mangone firstname.lastname@example.org
I am so grateful for my degree in History at Dickinson and welcome this opportunity to thank you for the experience! After graduating from Dickinson in 1989, I went to Emory Law School in Atlanta. I received my J.D. in 1992 and went to work for the DeKalb County (Atlanta) District Attorney's Office. During my 6 and a half years there, I tried over 100 felony cases and headed up the office's Crimes Against Children Division. It was a marvelous and challenging experience. Though I rarely had time to examine the "historical perspective" of my work, I credit much of my Dickinson education for any success I achieved. Because of the small class size and the careful attention of my professors, I developed confidence to speak in front of others and the ability to think quickly on my feet.
I am now at home with our three small children, a son age 5 and twin daughters who are 2. With the little spare time I have, I do enjoy scrapbooking - perhaps a credit to Professor Rogers and her oral history class!
Thank you for the opportunity to hear about what other history majors are up to and the chance to express my gratitude for such a great education. I have such fond memories (with the exception, of course, of finals!) of all of the great professors in the department whose classes I was fortunate enough to take. (posted 2000)
J. Michael Wiley, Esquire JMWileyEsq@aol.com
I graduated from Dickinson College in 1989 with a double major in History and Religion. The ability to pursue the double major was facilitated by the Nisbet Scholar program. Following Dickinson, and a year off working in a law firm as a paralegal, I attended Vermont Law School, graduating in 1993, Juris Doctor, cum laude, Masters of Studies in Environmental Law, magna cum laude. Currently, I maintain my law practice in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, a general practice, concentrating in environmental, land use, and zoning law. I am in my tenth month of a four-year term on Williamsport's City Council and was recently inducted as President of the Middle District of Pennsylvania Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. In addition, I serve on the Board of Directors of the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy.
The strength and breadth of the History Department was one of the reasons I selected Dickinson. The other was the setting of the college and the swimming program under Coach McEvoy. The skills developed during my tenure at Dickinson which have proved helpful in my current career include the research and writing skills which were constantly reinforced by the staff in both the History and Religion Departments. The small interactive classes were enjoyable and challenging (no place to hide) and both Professors Jarvis and Booth were both good and interactive mentors academically and personally. In short, both departments helped to prepare me well for the work ahead in law school and professionally. I enjoyed my time at Dickinson and both departments certainly played key roles in my life. (posted 2000)