- Arts & Sciences Home
- Dean's Office
- Faculty & Staff
- History Department Home
- Mission, Goals, & Objectives
- Academic Program
- What can you do with a history major?
- Faculty and Staff
- History Club
- Department Publications
- Phi Alpha Theta
- Contact Us
What can you do with a history major?
Bethany (Feske) Lukach '06
Faculty, Burlingame High School
"I began teaching in 2006 through a Teach for America placement in Los Angeles. Among other things, my role in the classroom requires that I synthesize large volumes of text, prioritize instructional goals, and communicate effectively with students and parents. My history degree taught me how to read, write, speak, and think critically in an academic setting. Additionally, studying history expanded my capacity to question the validity and relevance of an author's claim. Obtaining these essential skills at SCU has allowed me to enjoy and thrive in my career as a middle and high school teacher."
Sarah Tkach '11
Technological Support, Castilleja School
"I work in the technology department at a private girls' school, providing administrative support and assisting with various technical support issues. Though I did not have a technical background, my boss hired me for the communication and critical thinking skills I had nurtured through studying history. Specifically, I developed skills to notice details, ask thoughtful questions, and acknowledge that context matters. My comfort with details has helped me learn about troubleshooting technology, as often a small detail makes the difference between a device working or not working the way someone wants. Students and employees call tech support in crisis, and I use careful, thoughtful dialogue to understand the context and triage the issues. Folks have a wide range of tech knowledge and experience, and some feel embarrassed to ask a "simple" question. I seek to dignify each person's experience, recognizing that each comes from a different background; I don't make assumptions even in a technology-rich school. Finally, I appreciate that in neither history nor technology can I claim to have all the answers, which inspires me to keep learning."
Richelle Neal '10
Pediatric Resident, Phoenix Children's Hospital
"I graduated in June 2010 from Santa Clara University as a proud recipient of a history degree. Entering college with a dream of becoming a pediatrician, I initially ignored my love for history, trading it in for a more traditional path to enter medicine. But I kept being drawn to history courses and the great faculty at Santa Clara’s history department. They made it possible for me to not only succeed as a history major; but more importantly, they provided the tools to excel in my chosen field of medicine and eventual field of pediatrics. Each and every course expanded my critical thinking and broadened my perspective on the importance of culture and the past. Santa Clara’s history department set me up for success in approaching patients and not just seeing the medical diagnosis, but in the setting of a community, a family, and as an individual. I am able to see cultural and ethical aspects that have helped me start to build the type of practice I aspire to achieve."
Dominic Rios '13
Teach For America Corps, San Diego
"After graduating from Santa Clara University, I joined Teach for America and now currently teach social studies in a low-income high school in the San Diego area. The education and support I received in the History department prepared me well for my transition into a high school classroom. In addition to challenging their students to think critically about history and its connections to the present, the department professors always made time to talk with students about their progress, specific courses, resources, etc.—all of which I try to emulate every day in my own classroom!"
7th grade CORE teacher, Castillero Middle School
"After completing my undergraduate work at Santa Clara I enrolled in the MAT program at USC in order to obtain a secondary Social Science teaching credential as well as a masters degree in teaching. Although there are more than 10 Social Studies teachers at my school I am the only one who majored in history, which has often made me someone other teachers seek out when they are having difficulty creating a lesson or activity pertaining to a specific historical event or concept. Incorporating primary source documents into my classroom practice is a direct result of having majored in history, and I am always excited to find new ways for my students to study the past."
Bridget Brown '12
"As a history major I studied colonialism and gender relations, moreover the silencing of the female voice throughout this period (and ultimately all of history). It is the lessons learned from these lectures which have led me down my current path and equipped me with the knowledge and energy for a future in the world of nonprofits and women’s rights. Technology is our future and we cannot allow women to remain absent and without voices in this field."
Anna Mascoli '12
J.D. Candidate, NYU School of Law
"After graduation, I began law school at NYU. The educational experience I had as a history major is very similar to the legal education I have had. I spend time studying different legal frameworks, and applying these to novel situations. The ability to critically analyze rather than simply memorize is an invaluable skill I learned during my time at Santa Clara, and will serve me well as a practicing attorney. In addition, the research and writing skills that I developed as a history major put me a step ahead when I began school. Instead of wasting time learning how to use search engines and write topic sentences, I spent time honing my persuasive writing and developing my oral argument skills. Feeling prepared in law school is something that should never be underestimated!"
History Teacher, San Jose
"As a history teacher in southeast San Jose, I have been able to excite students in learning about the past. Earning my degree in history from SCU helped prepare me to teach history, not teach the textbook; it has helped me to mentor new history teachers, and to design cross-curricular units for the new Common Core. It is helping me to make a difference in education."
Carolyn Linck '11
Senior Account Executive, Access Communications
"Since graduating in 2011 I've started my career in public relations and am currently a Senior Account Executive at Access Communications in San Francisco representing consumer and technology clients. In PR, I use the skills I developed as a history major, particularly research, writing and critical thinking, every day. Further, working on a wide variety of accounts -- from non-profits to technology companies and international hospitality chains to luxury goods providers -- the intellectual curiosity and storytelling capabilities I developed while studying history at Santa Clara have served me extremely well in the professional world."
Hilary Armstrong '00
Directing Attorney, Health Legal Services | Mental Health Advocacy Project, Law Foundation of Silicon Valley
"I use skills that I developed through my history major every single day on the job – from research and writing to analyzing the facts and law in my clients’ cases to communicating with other service providers, government officials, and elected leaders. In addition, my background in history has given me a unique perspective on the issues that my clients face, especially how the history of mental health and HIV treatment in the United States impacts how my clients experience those systems today."
Holly Kearl '05
Consultant, UN Women's Safe Cities Global Initiative