A few graduates will go on to be professional historians. Most, however, will use their degree to pursue some of the many other callings that historically educated people have traditionally followed. History majors, for example, with their skills in research and writing, regularly choose careers in Law, Journalism and Public Administration. The same abilities lead them to excel at publishing, archival work and library science. The list of politicians and other prominent public figures who first studied history is almost endless. Altogether, a historical education, because it instills flexibility of mind and a range of solid, enduringly relevant skills, affords the graduate at least as many opportunities as any other Arts degree. On a more personal level, History is one of the traditional gateways to understanding and appreciating the general culture of any civilization. More simply, people seem to crave historical knowledge instinctively as they mature. In this sense, the historical studies graduate will get a systematic head start on a fascination that lasts for life. This, too, is part of the opportunity.
Where are our graduates today?
The diversity of post-graduate career paths in History is clearly demonstrated by our own graduates in Historical Studies. Here is where they went after earning their Bachelor of Arts degrees in Historical Studies at Grenfell Campus Memorial University:
Danielle Butler (2011) graduated with a major in Historical Studies and a minor in Classics from Grenfell Campus. She is currently enrolled in the Accelerated Law Program for graduates at the University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh, Scotland. She hopes to develop her focus on Commercial Energy Law, particularly in the field of oil and gas. She states, "having an undergraduate degree in Historical Studies and Classics has greatly benefited my performance in Law school as it educated me on the proper methods of researching and critical thinking, which is necessary for law."
Carolynne Gabriel (2010) finished a very successful undergraduate education at Grenfell and went immediately into the Masters of Library and Information Science program at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. This program has included co-op work terms with the Cochrane Collaboration and Health Canada in Ottawa.
Christina Robarts (2010) took a break from academics for about a year, and was then accepted into the Masters program in Public and Applied Folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She began the program in the Spring 2011 semester with a couple of field courses in England with the English Cultural Landscape program which was offered by Dr. Gerry Pocius of the MUN Folklore Department. Upon completion of her degree in 2013, Christina was hired by the Newfoundland Historical Society to be their new Office Manager.
Dan Monafu (2009) graduated with a double major in Historical Studies and English. He was accepted into the Master’s program at The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) at Carleton University, where his high academic performance in the first year earned Dan a SSHRC Bombardier`s Master`s Research Scholarship ($17,500) to support research into generosity and the levels of social spending in the OECD countries. Dan interned with the Canadian Bureau for International Education and subsequently worked with them on a contract into the spring of 2010. His future plans are to finish the Master`s, publish a paper or two, and figure out exactly where he wants to work.
David L. Robinson (2009) was accepted into the History MA program at the University of New Brunswick (Fredericton), supported by a Teaching Assistantship there. His MA thesis will compare views on religious toleration among prominent French and Dutch Calvinists between 1555 and 1648, a focus which has led him to learn Dutch.This builds on his experience using French sources for his 4950 independent at Grenfell to study French Calvinsts. Once he finishes his MA in 2011, David plans to pursue a doctoral degree at a university that specialises in early modern history, possibly in the United States though he is also considering the University of Leiden in the Netherlands.
Joshua Tavenor (2009) went on to earn an MA in History at Memorial University with the support of the MUN Graduate Fellowship Program. His research explored how imports demonstrated Newfoundland's involvement in a complex transatlantic trade network during the 1600s and 1700s. One paper has already emerged from this research: "Imports to Newfoundland in the Late Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries," Newfoundland and Labrador Studies (Spring 2011), and Josh hopes to produce more.
Michael Jones (2006) headed off to Queen's University where he first earned a Master of Arts degree, then shifted into education with a B.Ed. degree. This was followed by two years in Canada's North, teaching at Iqaluit, before returning to Newfoundland. He is now planning to enter the Masters of Education program at Memorial.
Karen Humber (2006) was recipient of The Joanne Swan Greenlee Prize in Historical Studies in 2006. Following graduation, Karen enrolled at the University of Western Ontario in their Master of Library and Information Services programme.
Cassie Buckle (2005) was Grenfell's first recipient in 2004 of The Joanne Swan Greenlee Prize in Historical Studies. Her HIST 4950 paper defended the idea of "Big History" (i.e., global history). Cassie's next step is to earn an MA in History but with an interdisciplinary dimension. She therefore applied for admission into a program in International Development Studies at Guelph University and was accepted with full funding.
Barbara Neville (2005) went on to earn an Education degree and is now teaching in Natuashish, Labrador. She hopes eventually to earn her Masters of Education degree. She would also like eventually to teach in Iqaluit in Nunavut.
Mark Osmond (2005) won the Pro-Vice Chancellor's Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Scholarship, for his HIST 4950 paper, "Revising Newton: a Modern Historiographical Debate." Mark has been accepted into the MA program in History at the University of Victoria with substantial funding.
Heather Perry (2005) has decided to add an Honors Major in Philosophy to her Historical Studies degree; she is therefore transferring to the St. John's campus of Memorial University of Newfoundland to continue her studies. While at Grenfell, Heather won The David Kirkland Leadership Award (a university-wide award) as well as the Arthur M. Sullivan Award.
Jennifer Donovan (2004) returned to Prince Edward Island following the completion of her Historical Studies degree. She has since been accepted into an MA program in Museum Studies at the University of Toronto.
Cara Finn (2003) took some time off after completing her Historical Studies degree. She has since been accepted into the MA program in History at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
Jennifer Payne (2003) completed a Historical Studies degree with a minor in English. Her main research interest is Newfoundland French Shore history. She subsequently earned an Education degree (secondary) at Memorial's St. John's campus and entered the teaching profession .
Shelly Hobbs (2002) completed a joint major in History and English and was subsequently accepted into Memorial University's graduate program in History where she completed her MA. Afterwards, Shelly became an Ireland Fund scholar and also presented her research at the Canadian Association of Irish Studies conference.
Johnathan Pope (2001) graduated with a double major in Historical Studies and English; he was also winner of the University Medal for Academic Excellence in Historical Studies. John subsequently went to the University of New Brunswick where he earned an MA in History with strong scholarship support; his main research interests there were eighteenth century colonial and military history. Upon completion at UNB, he proceeded to McMaster University, where he earned both an MA and a Phd in English. Johnathan is now teaching at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.
Jason Warren (2001) went to the University of New Brunswick with scholarship support to complete an MA in history. His thesis on naval history reflects his interest in Ultra (special intelligence) and the Second British Support Group during the offense phase of the Battle of the Atlantic.
Justin Hulan (2000) also completed his degree in education at the St. John's campus and currently teaches.
Jeff Hutchings (2000) is currently employed in the private sector.
Neil White (2000) was the winner of the University Medal for Academic Excellence in Historical Studies. Neil continued on into graduate studies. With the support of a scholarship, he completed both an MA and a Phd at Memorial University. His main research interests focus on Canadian urban history, and in 2012, the University of Toronto Press published his book, based on his PhD dissertation, Company Towns: Corporate Order and Community.
George Noble (1999) has continued his education at Memorial University. He plans to complete a degree in education.
Sandra Payne (1998) graduated with a joint degree in Historical Studies and English; she then went on to complete her M.A. in History at the St. John's campus. Her main research interest was the social history of medicine. Now married, she is living in Fort McMurray.
Some students will take History courses at Grenfell Campus in order to complete a major or a minor in History towards a Bachelor of Arts degree at the St. John’s campus of Memorial University.
Doug Howell completed three years at Grenfell before completing his history degree at the St. John’s campus. He then went on to study law at Dalhousie University where he won the Osgoode Society medal in legal history for two years in succession. He now practises law as a Crown Prosecutor in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Colin Preston spent three years in the Historical Studies program before finishing his B.A. degree in history at the main campus; he has recently completed his M.A. in history.
Linda Fitzgibbon finished her B.A. in English at Grenfell, completed a Master's degree in History at Carleton University and now is doing doctoral studies in history.
Joanne Deluney graduated with a joint major in English and History. She has now gone on to take the Master’s of Library and Information Studies degree from Dalhousie University.
Melissa Harnett completed three years with the Department of History at the main campus and then finished her honours degree at Grenfell Campus. She has now been accepted into the Master’s of Library and Information Studies degree at Dalhousie University.
Heather King completed a History minor in 2002 at Grenfell Campus as part of the St. John’s campus BA program in English. She has subsequently been accepted into the B.Ed. (intermediate/secondary) program of Memorial’s Faculty of Education.