Jessica Leaf, 2014:
Most people do not believe me when I say I was a history major. I mean, what does
history have to do with saving people? The historian is that overly-erudite individual
locked away in the library, a veritable Gollum mumbling "my precious" over fragments
of ancient parchment and fossilized Viking feces (yes, there is such a thing).
And me? Well, I dress in very, very bright colors, adore Florence and the Machine,
and have dedicated the remainder of my life to the eradication of human trafficking.
Since graduating from the University of Dallas in December 2013, I have been a part
of The A21 Campaign, an international organization that works tirelessly to abolish the injustice of
modern slavery in the 21st century. Through its four-prong approach, that is partnership,
protection, prevention and prosecution, The A21 Campaign offers individuals of all
ages, occupations and genders the opportunity to be modern abolitionists, using their
unique skills and talents.
Yet, you may ask, what does that have to do with my degree? Everything. My time at
UD helped me discover my talents, giving me a unique set of intellectual skills that
has allowed me to become my own kind of abolitionist. As Confucius (purportedly) once
said, "study the past if you would define the future." Through my study of history,
I have been able to define a future where all men and women are free. Indeed, learning
history at UD has given me a vision to fight for, much like Constantine's legendary
Grace Ballor, 2012:
Grace is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in European Economic History at the University
of California, Los Angeles. Her doctoral dissertation, directed by Dr. Ivan Berend,
analyzes the historical relationship between the private and public sectors in twentieth
century Europe and studies the role of multinational firms in European integration
and the development of the European Union.
"The University of Dallas History Department, its rigorous curriculum and generous
faculty mentors led me from my early academic career as a Classicist through the timeline
of Western Civilization to a Politics degree focused on Enlightenment thought and
eventually to a History thesis on the E.U.s Common Agricultural Policy and its effect
on French wine growers. It was that thesis, advised by UD's Charles Sullivan, which
propelled me into doctoral research on the European Union. Such a progressive trajectory
actually proves the value of the historical methodology and an education grounded
in its attention to primary source documents, respect for contingency, tools of analysis,
and critical thinking, an education that readies one for success in any field. And
History at UD in particular, woven into the fabric of the Core, builds an intellectual
foundation so robust that its students cannot help but succeed."
Jose Healy, 2012:
Jose graduated from the University of Dallas in 2012, a few months after writing his
history thesis which assessed the impact of the emerging U.S. Federal Reserve System
and its policies in the years after the monumental stock market crash of 1929.
The research and writing skills honed through UD's liberal arts education, and the
history program specifically, helped him transition to his current position at The
Wall Street Journal, where he has helped produce the Latin American online and print
editions since September 2012 by translating, adapting and editing articles. Though
Livy, Homer and More don't make the headlines every day at the Journal, the intellectual
habits formed from studying these authors and many others during his four years at
UD continue to inform his daily decisions and actions, both inside and outside the
Madeleine Klem, 2012:
I am currently a doctoral student in history at the University of Notre Dame.
My time as a history major at the University of Dallas was a wonderful preparation
for graduate school. The department, and particularly the experience of writing my
senior thesis, provided an excellent introduction to the discipline. In fact, my current
research developed out of and builds on my senior thesis. But perhaps more importantly,
studying history at UD in the context of the Core trained me to assume that there
should be conversations across and among disciplines. And that habit, I am convinced,
makes for more interesting and compelling historical questions.
UD's combination of strong majors, like history, and the Core's breadth and depth
is powerful and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Peter Raia, 2012:
My senior thesis, titled "The Baconian Legacy in Great Britain: Three Moments in the
History of Science and Technology," explored and expounded upon the substantial association
between the program of Baconian science and the process of industrialization in Great
Britain, which contributed to the significant rise in wealth in the West. Writing
this thesis truly was the capstone of my education at UD, as it allowed me to combine
the diverse elements of a liberal arts education into a single unified project. My
time in the history department at UD was, without doubt, some of the most formative
in my life.
I am incredibly blessed to have been able to work with the outstanding faculty of
UD's history department. I learned so much more than just the facts and stories that
were the context for their classes; I learned skills that have been crucial in helping
me develop and progress as an individual and as a professional. From Professor Cupp
I learned the importance and utility of always having a detailed outline of where
I want to go. From Professor Gibson I learned how to make detailed but concise presentations,
as well as how to effectively use PowerPoint presentations without boring my students
or audience. I am eternally grateful to all of my professors at UD, but especially
to Dr. Sullivan, who taught me how vital it is, not only to think critically, but
to think creatively. His brilliance and passion for history have been truly inspirational
All of these skills have combined to help put me where I am today. I am currently
both the Social Media Director and the Stage Manager for The All-American Boys Chorus,
a world-renowned, non-profit organization of music education and leadership training
for boys. My training in the History Department at UD has enabled me to better analyze
our situation, and to think creatively on how to improve it. Since I started as the
Social Media Director, we have expanded to several new outlets and increased our online
following by over 40%. I am currently responsible for developing and managing all
aspects of the Chorus's Social Media face, including advertising, video production,
and base involvement. Additionally, as the Stage Manager for the Chorus, I have had
the opportunity to tour both nationally and internationally, including trips throughout
Asia and Australia.
In addition to working for the AABC, I have also been spending my time since graduation
volunteering as an Adult Literacy Tutor at the local library. One of the reasons I
was so interested in doing this is that I really miss the experience of tutoring for
UD's History Department. It really is one of the most rewarding experiences that I
got out of UD, and I'm just glad that I have been able to find a way to continue in
a similar way since graduation. My history degree from UD has been such a blessing
in my life, and I cannot possibly express my gratitude and appreciation for all of
the History Department faculty, for their brilliance, their passion, and their dedication
to their students.
Monica Abbracciamento, 2011:
Monica graduated from the University of Dallas in May 2011, having combined her history
degree with an International Studies concentration. She wrote her senior thesis "Woodrow
Wilson and Mexico: Writing Large in a Small Place," on American involvement in the
She is now an advertising Account Executive. Upon graduation, she spent a year in
New York City, working on the American Express brand at Ogilvy and Mather. In the
fall of 2012, Monica joined The Richards Group, where she is currently responsible
for managing the Wawa brand, overseeing client relationships and all aspects of creative
development and execution.
Kaitlyn Willy, 2011:
When asked what was the most fun experience of their college career, most UD students
tend to talk about Rome. For Kaitlyn Willy of the class of 2011, the answer was instead
writing her History thesis about J.R.R. Tolkien's life as a study in classical pedagogy
with Dr. John Sommerfeldt as her advisor. The experience of researching and writing
her thesis in the summer 2010 is one that she will treasure for many years to come.
The lessons she learned along the way about research, writing, and being flexible
have brought her through many more wonderful adventures, including an MA in Theology.
With a concentration in Ancient Greek and her BA in History, Kaitlyn was well prepared
for the Echo Program at the University of Notre Dame, the faith formation and leadership
program through which she received her MA . The History program at UD granted Kaitlyn
a better understanding of the Church in the history of the world as well as a thorough
knowledge of Church History, both of which have been extremely beneficial in her graduate
studies and in her job at Butler University as the Director of Catholic Campus Ministry.
Kaitlyn now lives in Indianapolis and still loves to read Greek and drink tea, two
hobbies she picked up at UD. She continues to spend time with Homer, Faulkner, and
many other dear friends she met at UD as part of the great books Core program. Feel
free to contact her with any questions about the UD History program and its importance
in her life at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aaron Linderman, 2006:
Aaron Linderman graduated from UD in 2006 with a History major and concentrations
in International Studies and Medieval & Renaissance Studies. He wrote a thesis on
the Combined Chiefs of Staff, the British-American military committee that planned
much of World War II. While at UD he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Alpha
Theta and was a recipient of the Fr. Louis J. Leikai award for excellence in history.
Aaron subsequently earned an MA in Statecraft & National Security at the Institute
of World Politics in Washington, DC and a PhD in History from Texas A&M. He conducted
research on a Smith Richardson fellowship in the US and Britain, examining Allied
support to resistance movements during World War II and how they learned lessons from
earlier conflicts. His dissertation is now available, in revised form, as Rediscovering Irregular Warfare: Colin Gubbins and the Origins of Britain's Special
Operations Executive (Oklahoma, 2016).
Dr. Linderman is also the author of several book reviews, articles, conference papers,
and a book chapter on topics involving irregular warfare, terrorism, and espionage.
Along the way he helped to excavate a pre-Columbia pueblo, interned at the Heritage
Foundation, and did research for a 1946 homicide cold case. He now lives with his
wife and children near Charlottesville, Virginia.
Rachel Vogel, 2006:
Rachel graduated from the University of Dallas in 2006. She wrote her senior thesis
on Lorenzo de'Medici and his patronage of art and philosophy in Renaissance Florence.
After working as a product coordinator for FourthWall Media for two years she decided
to attend graduate school. In 2009 Rachel earned her M.A. in International Political
Economy at the University of Kent Brussels School of International Studies in Brussels,
Belgium. In Brussels she interned for Environmental Security International, assisting
the CEO with policy meetings about water security for Afghanistan and Pakistan at
think tanks, NATO and embassies. She also worked on the German Marshall Fund of the
United States' 2009 Brussels Forum.
Returning to the States, Rachel interned for the German Marshall Fund in D.C. and
then after moving back to Texas, she began work at the World Affairs Council of Houston.
Rachel is now the Director of Programs at the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort
Worth. The Council is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to promote
international awareness and understand and to enhance the region's global stature.
She is a member of the Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations and is an active sand
volleyball player. She tries to travel as much as possible and has been to over twenty-one
"I believe my History degree from the University of Dallas led me to graduate school,
specifically in international affairs. Through studying history at UD I learned about
how cultures and nations interacted in the past and I wanted to learn more about how
this affects the way countries and states relate to each other now. Both degrees are
beneficial to my current position in working with different embassies and foreign
Jerrime Fobbs, 2005:
Fun-loving, professional, and dedicated to education are a few ways Jerrime Fobbs,
Advanced English Educational Instructor, would describe himself. Jerrime assumed a
teaching position in June, 2011 with Chungdham Institute.
A 2005 University of Dallas alumnus, he has used his training as a history major to
instill in students the urgency in pursuing 'the truth'.
His own surprise came in the form of a near life-ending event not too long after graduation.
In 2006, he suffered an extreme medical complication . The compound crisis resulted
in long-term hospitalization, paralysis, intense physical rehabilitation, and near
After a year long bout of medical treatment and rehabilitation, Jerrime attended law
school only to discover a passion for teaching. He ended his legal studies and pursued
alternative certification to fulfill a desire to share the knowledge that he had discovered
at UD. By June 2011, Jerrime realized a dream in teaching, but 7,000 miles away in
"Being around young children ages 10-16 has given me a greater perspective on the
need for better education, regardless of the subject, for all children. My time under
Professor Sullivan taught me not only patience, but a practical method to approaching
challenges in a manner that would result in success," Jerrime recently said. "I am
forever grateful for my opportunity to have studied with the History professors and
a host of other dedicated professionals at UD. I feel inexpressibly blessed to have
had to chance to live outside of my country and view the world all while teaching."
Though still learning the craft of teaching well, Jerrime has had some wonderfully
surprising circumstances befall him in the process. Despite the physical limitations
due to nerve damage, he has climbed mountains; marched with monks in honor of peace
and Buddha's birthday; crisscrossed Tokyo, Seoul and Busan.
"If anything, I have come to appreciate my time at UD even more now because it was
through my time there that my present blessings find their root."
Fr. John Connaughton, 1998:
Fr. John Connaughton was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Bridgeport,
CT in May 2013. A history major, Fr. John wrote his thesis under Dr. Jodziewicz on
black leadership in the abolitionist movement. Prior to beginning his seminary studies
at the Pontifical North American College in Rome in 2008 he studied law at the University
of Connecticut where he earned a J.D. and became a member of the Connecticut Bar in
2007. He is currently completing a license program at the John Paul II Institute for
Marriage and Family in Rome and will return to the Diocese of Bridgeport this summer
to begin parish ministry.
"I'm truly grateful for my time at U.D. and for the education I received under the
guidance of the history department. The professors were extremely dedicated to their
students, and I remember they really made us work hard to get good grades in their
classes, especially Dr. Swietek. A history degree from the University of Dallas is
something to be proud of."
L. Brent Bozell III, 1977:
Facts by themselves are anecdotes. History gives the world context. I was not originally
a History major. I'd choose English because of my interest in literature, and while
UD's program in this field is exemplary, I found it just wasn't scratching the itch.
After taking a couple of compulsory history courses, I realized this was my true
desire: understanding the creation, development and contributions of civilizations.
I came to appreciate something else. These courses were being taught by some of
the finest historians in America. Could anyone match Dr. June Welch and his grasp
of the history of Texas? Dr. Alexandra Wilhelmsen and her expertise on the subject
of Western Civilization?
But to what end? What, exactly, can one do with this degree? Unless one is preparing
to teach it, I can't think of any direct application. But a history major is not
designed to be something you do. Rather, it gives you something to have. It gives
the student an appreciation for the context of his world. Texas becomes the Lone
Star State in all her rascally glory; Western Civilization becomes the ultimate target
of radical Islam. A career in public policy must have history as a (thought not the)
basis. With history as a basis one can be a statesman; without history one will never
be more than a politician. There have been many serious leaders produced by the University
of Dallas. I cannot think of any politicians produced by the University of Dallas.
L. Brent Bozell is the founder and President of the Media Research Center (MRC) and
Chairman of ForAmerica.org. He is a nationally syndicated writer to more than 50 newspapers
around the country, whose work appears in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, New York Post,
Los Angeles Times and National Review. In 1998, Brent Bozell was awarded the University of Dallas Distinguished Alumni
Award and in 2015, he gave the UD Commencement Address.