While at UMass, Nick pursued opportunities to enrich himself intellectually and culturally. He thrived in courses ranging from Latin American to LGBTQ History. Outside the classroom, Nick participated in the Shaha Diversity Theater group where he wrote and performed plays focused on issues of social justice. During the summer after his first year, he travelled to Peru to teach English to children. These experiences enhanced Nick’s understanding of the world and confirmed his passion for education.
From Germany to China to the Caribbean, Michael studied histories near and far. In the process, he learned to recognize and reevaluate the paradigms of his own culture and historical moment. He says: “History allows you to learn about a variety of places and people. You can gain specific knowledge about a particular culture while also developing a broader understanding of how that culture changed over time.”
Joy converted her enthusiasm for archival research into an internship with the Sexual Minorities Archives (SMA) in Northampton, which was part of a UMass Creative Economies Initiative project directed by Professor Julio Capó Jr., History Outreach Director Dr. Jessica Johnson, and UWW Professor Mitch Boucher. For her internship, Joy categorized periodicals, created finding aids, and processed new materials into the SMA’s collection.
At the start of my UMass career, I was set on starting a career in secondary education, teaching history in high school. Through my classes, conversations, and career development program, I learned about other career paths for history majors, such as public history, museum work, and law school. The career development program helped me hone my resume skills, job fair skills, and interactions with recruiters. Through this work, I found an internship that would open up doors for me and set me on the right path.