History—Join us. Resistance is Feudal. Guest Post: Andrew Nolan, UMBC History Program Director


Dr. Andrew Nolan, UMBC History Program Director

Hello! Thanks for reading this blog post. My name is Andrew Nolan, and I am writing to recruit you. I’m the UMBC History Program Director at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG), and I really think you should become a history major here. Why? Because you like history. You know you do.

I know what you’re thinking. “Who is this person,” you say, “and who does he think he is, telling me I like history?”

But it’s easy to see the signs. Maybe it’s the way you dressed up as a medieval warrior for Halloween, or maybe it was the way you talked your A/V club into showing that movie about Apollo 13. Maybe it was the time you bugged all your friends about the book you read on the life of a Japanese shogun, or maybe it was the stories your grandmother told you about working as a nurse in Vietnam. Whatever it was, you’re hooked. And that’s the problem. It’s okay to like history. But let’s be practical. You need to find a career, settle down, and pay the bills. (After all, the internet isn’t as cheap as it used to be). How will History help you get that rewarding job?

Well, I have good news, history lovers! Studying history will give you the skills you need not only to make a living, but to make a life. Let me explain. When you come to the UMBC History Program at USG, you’ll work with award-winning faculty in a dynamic learning environment. You’ll immerse yourself in the rich pageant of the human past, and not just in the classroom. Dr. Melissa Blair coordinates our minor in Public History, a field which brings historians together with partners and audiences to engage in productive conversations about the critical importance of the past in public spaces. As part of this program, Dr. Blair could help you land intriguing internships that give you a chance to acquire practical experience and to test drive your historical skills.

You will also acquire several practical and eminently marketable skills: thinking critically, writing persuasively, and researching intensively.  These abilities —studying the past to develop creative solutions to contemporary problems, using words to sway audiences from the classroom to the boardroom, and plumbing ancient archives and cutting-edge digital resources to build solid answers to difficult questions—will serve you well in any career you choose. But don’t take my word for it. Listen to our students! They have pursued careers as lawyers, business professionals, community activists, professional writers, entrepreneurs, public historians, defense workers, contractors, educators, journalists, information specialists, and policy makers, just to name several careers.

Take a look at the following video, and hear our students explain in their own words the benefits of earning a B.A. in History from UMBC at USG.

History Video

We made this video to celebrate our first 10 years at USG. Come help make your mark in our second decade. From the performing arts through the liberal arts and on to the “art of the deal,” history majors from UMBC have the background and the training to make history on their own!

Andrew Nolan works as the History Program Director for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG). He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, where it was very flat, and he is happy to be back among the rolling hills of the mid-Atlantic.


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