CooperAlumniImage3.jpg

 


Year Graduated 2018

 

Degree and Minors?
–MA in US History with a concentration in First Gilded Age and Progressive Era Culture

What are you up to now?
– I got tired of hurting myself while swinging hammers and explaining to clients why they can't tear out load-bearing walls, so I started at Rutgers Law--Camden (Zoom Edition) in August of this year. My ultimate goal is to go into Public Interest Law with a focus on environmental advocacy or regulation.

 

What was the most interesting/provocative thing you learned at JMU?
-  How desperately our education system needs young history teachers from a wide range of backgrounds.


 

Which skills you developed from your study of History at JMU are most valuable to you now?  Why?
– Any of the "soft skills" are requisite in law school: reading, writing, researching, public speaking, etc. Being able to speed-read, digest the information, and then analyze that information are all good skills to have in any field but they're certainly necessary to a successful career in law (I assume). Additionally and probably more importantly, being able to speak confidently in front of several dozen other experts is an invaluable skill that is only learned through experience, and JMU provides that opportunity through teaching and conferences. 

 

What advice would you like to share with JMU history students now?

Do everything you can while you're gestating in the womb of the university system. Volunteer, apply to internships and conferences, teach and be available to your students, talk to your professors in office hours and network with them, take every opportunity to speak in front of people if you're uncomfortable with it, do the work your professors assign, attend events that have literally nothing to do with history, and ask questions everywhere you go. Do not be disengaged during your time at JMU. The faculty are immensely valuable in their knowledge and experience and will help you in the future in more ways than I can list. Likewise, you never know where your friends and colleagues--historians or not--will go and what they will accomplish. Learn from them and they will learn from you. But do not learn history for history's sake: historians provide a unique perspective on why our world is the way it is today, and that shouldn't be relegated to passivity. The study of history challenges your character; respond to it.


Back to Top