History Alumni

Alumni Endorsements

“After graduating Allegheny with a BA in History in May of 2012, I immediately began a masters program in the fall of that year. There is not a moment that goes by that I do not appreciate my education from the History Department. The writing and analytical techniques my professors and assignments taught in their classrooms have given me tools to excel in the graduate and working world. Learning how to research and utilize primary and secondary sources through the History Department seminars allowed me to have educational advantages in many ways my fellow graduate students did not. My time spent in the History Department at Allegheny College helped me reach a graduate level of work before I had even started the masters program. Without the History Department and its dedicated faculty I would not be where I am today.”

—Janelle R. Diethelm ’12, Administrative Assistant, Christie’s Auction House, New York City area

“During my time as a student in the History Department I learned so much more than simply topics and dates outlined on a syllabus. I was taught necessary critical thinking, writing, and research skills that I use in my professional life on a daily basis, and that I am confident played a large role in my securing employment so quickly after graduation. These abilities could not have been developed without the dedicated faculty, who truly go above and beyond to ensure that students not only have a firm grasp on class material, but also feel free to use them as a resource for advice on broader career goals. My experience as a history major and, more specifically, with Allegheny’s Department of History has proven to be an invaluable asset to me, as I am sure it will be to many in the future.”

—Kathleen M. Creehan ‘11, Victory Fund, Operations and Compliance Manager, Washington, D.C.

“Early on, I realized that the History Department was particularly suitable for combining different areas of interest, because history has that wonderful quality of being ever-present in one’s life. It permeates every discipline, providing context and perspective. The greatest thing about this department is that it does not limit you in future career goals. I’ve worked on political campaigns and on Broadway, and I truly believe that it was because of the skills I acquired at Allegheny. I was not limited in the scope of jobs that I looked for, and applied to, after graduation. The skills you acquire through the history curriculum enable you to succeed in a myriad of careers, some that you might never have imagined possible. I have learned how to speak effectively in front a large group, as well as lead in-depth discussions. My professors helped me develop my ability to think on my feet, to master a topic and to fully engage the audience. Most importantly, the drive and initiative that I acquired during my studies in the history department can be attributed, in large part, to the example my professors set and the passion that they modeled.”

—Courtney E. Rice ’12, Deputy Press Secretary, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

“While graduate school taught me how to think and write as an archaeologist and an anthropologist, the history classes at Allegheny challenged me to develop the tools necessary to become a critical thinker. Allegheny’s engaging and challenging learning environment pushed me to mature intellectually. As history students, we were expected to facilitate class discussions about books that we read weekly, give feedback on our peers’ research, and synthesize what we learned in papers and tests. I expanded my experience at an archaeological field school into my Senior Thesis and have continued to pursue my career as an archaeologist both academically and professionally.”

—Crystal Ptacek ’08, Field Archaeologist, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

“Allegheny has such a special place in my heart. The education that I received inside and outside of the classroom was simply brilliant.
Learning how to read, write, speak and think critically while defending my opinions strategically helped me adapt to the rigorous challenges faced in the global business world. More importantly, having caring and sincere life teachers, not just exceptional History professors, enabled me to appreciate the past, interpret situations in the present and apply those lessons for the future. I can proudly say that my time on The Hill was absolutely priceless and my experiences there have had a profound influence on who I am today.”

—John Freeston ’99, Business Development Director, Language Solutions, SDL International

“The professors of the Allegheny Department of History incorporated a variety of instructional methods, all of which challenged me to think critically instead of mindlessly regurgitating facts. Being able to identify and analyze the events and trends that helped shape the world in which we live and establishing the confidence to project what could happen in the future were skills acquired at Allegheny that guided me as I moved towards receiving a Master’s Degree in History. As a high school History and English teacher, I now employ these same methods in an attempt to best prepare my students as they move towards their undergraduate studies and beyond.”

—Ryan Ryzner ’99, History and English Teacher, Gilmour Academy, Gates Mills, OH

“The Allegheny History Department gave me a foundation that I stand on every day. As a history major, I learned the most important skills I will ever need: to think critically, write well, and fight both passionately and effectively for what I believe in. Faculty members like Bruce Clayton, Paula Treckel and Stephen Lyons took apart my writing and made me rebuild it, often from scratch, until it was clear, concise, and persuasive. They questioned my conclusions and made me look at an issue from every angle and marshal my data. This has gotten me farther than I ever would have imagined when I was laboring over my prose in the computer lab in the basement of Pelletier Library. (Ah, the good old days, before everyone had their own laptop, tablet and smart phone). Allegheny gave me wonderful mentors who showed me, through the history they taught and the personal examples that they set, that individuals can make a tremendous difference in the world. Twenty-five years later, I am still trying to live up to their expectations. Thanks to the tools they gave me, I think I am mostly succeeding.”

—Dr. Katherine Meerse ‘89, Initiative Manager, Better Together Hennepin: Healthy Communities, Healthy Youth, an initiative of Hennepin County’s Human Services and Public Health Department

“It has been my great joy to identify myself as a historian throughout my entire professional career, a joy that emerged during my years at Allegheny. My professors set me on the path of thinking like a historian through their rigorous approach to classroom study combined with a generous willingness to talk candidly with students and an openness to varied lines of inquiry and potential career paths. Moreover, their unflinching critiques of my senior thesis instilled in me both the great responsibility we take on when interpreting the past, and the need for careful and thorough analysis built upon solid historical research. The experience of preparing my senior thesis within Allegheny’s History Department, and the seriousness with which my professors treated it, set me upon a life-long quest to live up to their standards. Over three decades later, I remain grateful.”

—Bruce G. Harvey ’85, Consulting Historian, Syracuse, NY

“Studying history gave me a solid foundation for being a lawyer. I learned to spot trends and patterns, marshal my thoughts, express them coherently, and get to the point. I would recommend an Allegheny BA in History to anyone.”

—Greg Gross ’83, Founding Member, Metz Lewis Brodman Must O’Keefe LLC, Pittsburgh

“I always wanted to be an entrepreneur, but I didn’t know what field to go into. The liberal arts education I received and the eclectic course load I took was a perfect fit for the multi-media business.”

—Jonathan Nelson ’89, CEO, Organic Online, San Francisco-based provider of Internet Web site development and design

“My years as a student-the small classes and close relationships with both professors and fellow students, the general excellence of instruction, the broad range of curricular and extracurricular opportunities given me, the subtle but pervasive stimulus to seek higher goals-have had a profound effect on my life.”

—Raymond Philip Shafer ’38, former governor of Pennsylvania

Career paths of recent Allegheny College graduates who earned degrees in History.

Sarah E. Barlow ’13
Talent Acquisition Professional, AECOM, Washington, D.C. Metro area

Sumner M. Beal ’14
Tufts University, Assistant Football Coach

Abby W. Beerman ’13
Epidemiologist, Green River Health Department, Owensboro, KY

Mary E. Bonacchi ’14
Senior Trade Support Specialist, Bank of New York Mellon, Pittsburgh, PA

Walter D. Cowles-Costigan ’16
Executive Assistant, Archivist, Chicago Metro History Education Center

Kathleen M. Creehan ’11
Victory Fund, Operations and Compliance Manager, Washington, D.C.

Kyle S. Davis ’14
Lieutenant, United States Marine Corps, Combat Engineer

Gordon A. Day ’15
Executive Recruiter, The Scotland Group, New York City area

Janelle R. Diethelm ’12
Administrative Assistant, Christie’s Auction House, New York City area

Katelyn M. Dornburg ’11
Associate Attorney, Robert Peirce & Associates, P.C., Pittsburgh, PA

Jessica L. Moran (Gruber) ’14
J.D. Program, Georgetown Law Center, Washington, D.C. area

JeVon N. Hatcher ’11
Resource and Ally Management Professional, Fund for Advancement of Minorities through Education (FAME), Philadelphia, PA

Jacob T. Halbig ’08
All-Source Intelligence Analyst, Department of Defense, Baltimore, MD area

Samuel J. Hyun ’14
Office of Speaker Robert DeLeo, Massachusetts Senate & House

Elizabeth P. Keene ’12
Graduate Assistant, Registration at Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library, University of Delaware

Jessie C. Lamb ’15
M.S. program in Public Policy and Management, Carnegie Mellon University-Heinz College

Abigail L. Lombard ’16
Business Analyst in Strategy & Operations, Deloitte Consulting

Albrando L. Lucino ’08
Mercy Suburban Hospital, Intern; Ph.D. program in Industrial Organizational Psychology, Kennedy Health and Grand Canyon University, Greater Philadelphia area

Kimberly A. Luperi ’08
Social Media Manager, Dances with Films and Coordinator, Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment, Beverly Hills, CA

Kara A. Martin ’10
Low Income Protection Plan and Public Interest Funding Officer, Harvard Law School

Maya E. Metzger ’16
MLitt program in Medieval History, University of St. Andrews, UK

Zachary P. Mosel ’15
M.A. program in Global Security and Intelligence, Point Park University

Anne E. Nybo ’11
Editor, Albert Whitman & Company, Park Ridge, IL

Robert J. Over ’14
Assistant Coach Cross Country/Track & Field, Seton Hill University

Courtney E. Rice ’12
Deputy Press Secretary, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

Ayla M. Siemon ’08
Director of Annual Giving, Case Western Reserve University

Shilling, Lindsey M. (DiLoreto) ’11
U.S. House of Representatives, Constituent Services Representative

Forrest M. Smith ’12
Attorney, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

Kyle T. Starkey ’13
Ph.D. program in Modern German History, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Rodney K. Still ’10
Jr. Reassignment Agent, SolarCity, Salt Lake City area

David G. Thachik ’13
Public Assistance Specialist, South Carolina Emergency Management Division (FEMA)

Gregory M. Waples ’10
Camp Manager, Gun Violence Prevention, Center for American Progress

Michelle A. Welker ’11
M.A. program in Museum Education, George Washington University

Stephanie L. Zellers ’12
Museum Educator, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Annabel C. Zinn ’15
M.S.Ed. program, University of Pennsylvania