Claire Wolnisty, Ph.D. , 2016
Assistant Professor of History, Angelo State University
"The PhD program at KU prepared me for life as a professor in two main ways. First, the interdisciplinary focus of classes within the Department of History, as well as in programs such as the Hall Center for the Humanities, Western Civilization, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Latin American Studies, trained me in a range of research methods. This breadth of experiences made me both a more marketable scholar and better equipped to engage in conversations with scholars from different backgrounds. Second, KU's extensive teaching opportunities meant I had taught 6 classes before I went on the job market, a qualification that has helped me immensely in my current position at a teaching university."
Jacklyn Miller, Ph.D., 2016
History Instructor, Coordinator-Interdisciplinary Studies, South Texas College
Since graduation, I have been teaching at South Texas College in McAllen, TX. STC is a fast-growing, Hispanic-serving community college that offers a wide range of associate’s degrees, professional certifications, and an increasing number of bachelor’s programs. My job is certainly teaching oriented. My experience as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and Assistant Instructor at KU has been important in shaping my teaching style and course content. Public history training at the Hall Center, work with the Kansas Humanities Council, and a history of capitalism workshop at Cornell University have informed my teaching, as well. I have also been fortunate to take on a capstone course for our history majors, teaching them research and writing skills along with exploring some of the wide-ranging career opportunities they might explore after transferring and receiving their bachelor’s degrees in history. I am excited to be able to offer a course similar to “The Historian’s Craft” (which I taught as an Assistant Instructor at KU) to students at the associate’s degree level.
I have published articles with Kansas History, the Kansas City Public Library’s Pendergast website (pendergastkc.org), and the forthcoming book Wide-Open Town: Kansas City in the Pendergast Years, edited by John Herron, Diane Mutti-Burke, and fellow KU alum Jason Roe (Fall 2018). Work on a book manuscript continues in my spare time. I must give credit to my excellent advising committee as a graduate student at KU, who encouraged idea development, conference presentations, and publication opportunities early in my career.
Kristen Epps, Ph.D., 2010
Associate Professor of History, University of Central Arkansas
Here at UCA, I teach both undergraduate and graduate courses and co-direct the African and African American Studies program. My research focuses on slavery, sectionalism, and the Civil War. My first book was Slavery on the Periphery: The Kansas-Missouri Border in the Antebellum and Civil War Eras (Georgia, 2016) and I have also published in Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri (UPK, 2013) and the journal Kansas History. I also have public history experience, largely from my time as an archivist at the Kansas Historical Society, where I worked while a student at KU, as well as editorial experience at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and at The Journal of the Civil War Era.
At KU, I received the Marnie and Bill Argersinger Graduate School Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation, the History Department Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award, and a History Department Outstanding Teaching by a GTA Award. I benefited greatly from an excellent dissertation advisor and amazing mentors. Seeking out good mentorship is so crucial!
After graduating in 2010, I taught for four years at Colorado State University—Pueblo. Although transitioning into a faculty position is always a challenge, KU did an excellent job of preparing me for life on the tenure track. In particular, the department's emphasis on training teachers prepared me for the transition into full-time teaching.
In terms of advice for current students: Take the time to care for your mental and physical health. Take a long walk, clear your mind, and treasure your time in graduate school. Even on the days where you feel overwhelmed.
Francis Park, Ph.D.
"I came to the History Department from 14 months in Afghanistan as the lead campaign planner for the 101st Airborne Division. In coursework and dissertation work, I knew there'd be plenty of reading, writing, and most importantly, thinking about the historian's trade. What I didn’t expect was the detailed preparation that doctoral work became for my current duties at the Pentagon, where I oversee a team of strategy writers to lay out the future institutional direction for the Army.
My preparation at KU has been invaluable in preparing strategy, position papers, speeches, congressional testimony, and even coordinating a conference for the Chief of Staff of the Army and his Air Force counterpart. It also provided me background enough to illustrate vignettes and dispel misconceptions about the Army’s roles, missions, and history. As a recent doctoral candidate, I’ve been a consultant on the Army’s own programs for selecting strategists for doctoral work. While there are certainly differences between the period in my dissertation and now, the nature of the problems are still the same. Applying historical tradecraft, whether written or spoken, has helped me inform the Army’s senior leadership as they redirect the Army beyond Iraq and Afghanistan."
Christopher White, Ph.D.
"I began teaching history at Marshall University in Huntington, WV in 2006 and was awarded tenure in 2012. I teach courses on Latin America, the Developing World, the Drug Wars, and US Foreign Policy, and I serve as both the Director of Graduate Studies and the Latin American Studies minor. I have taken groups of Marshall students to Central America and Mexico 7 times for historical tours and to conduct interviews with former rebels and soldiers. I also just finished a sabbatical that helped me complete my third book, A Global History of the Developing World, with Routledge Press.
I cannot express how well KU’s graduate program in History prepared me to be successful in my current position. From the rigorous scholarly training to the multiple and varied teaching opportunities I was given as a graduate student, I feel very fortunate to have my History doctorate from KU."