What are our alumni doing now?

Joseph Helzer Joseph Helzer, BA History 2013
Some things at Fort Lewis that helped prepare me for graduate school most were the senior thesis capstone, the honors program, and my internship at the CSWS. The history capstone paper was helpful because it was a real historical project that was similar to many assignments I've had here. Many of my colleagues did not have to complete a large project, and so the adjustment to graduate level work was harder for them. The same was true for the honors program. The extra workload, more discussion based classes, and large final project helped prepare me for graduate level work. Lastly, my internship at the CSWS helped sharpen my professional skills and prepare me for professional historical work. There is no real substitute for practical experience, and the internship helped me get a bit of it. In addition, the year that I took between graduation in 2013 and graduate school in August of 2014 helped me prepare my application as well as recollect myself before the next step of school.

Melanie Pimentel BA History 2013
Spring 2016 I began work on my final thesis paper for my graduate degree in my Ancient Greco-Roman research course. My topic will inevitably center around the public policy of violence that was instituted by the Senate in the mid-2nd century BCE in dealing with the Gracchi brothers. Right now, I'm looking at ancient Roman Republican "policing" policies, and the deeper socio-political implications of the Senate resorting to outright murder to silence political opposition. This Fall 2016 I will take my oral defenses and (hopefully) graduate. I presented my first thesis (on the Social War ca. 91 BCE) at the SSSA (Southwestern Social Science Association) in Las Vegas in March 2016.

Chloe Roberts, BA History, 2013
Chloe Roberts graduated from Boston College with a Master’s degree, working with Dr. Virginia Reinburg and Dr. Sarah Ross on the religious and social history of Early Modern England and France. Chloe completed her undergraduate studies at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado in 2013, where she studied European History under Dr. Michael Martin and Dr. Ellen Paul, and was named the Neil McHugh Outstanding Senior in History. She has spent the last year exploring the impact of the Reformation on ideas of popular belief, conceptions of the supernatural, and the role of witchcraft and demonology in the public sphere. Her minor focus is the intellectual history of the Enlightenment. She finds particularly intriguing the social and political effects of the Reformation, and is interested in further examining how the boundaries of belief were fluid during the early modern period. She was recently accepted into the University of California Santa Barbara's doctoral program to study under Dr. Hilary Bernstein beginning Fall 2016.

Fort Lewis College's history department was essential to my success as a historian and graduate student. The small, focused, and inspiring professors consistently encouraged me to expand my studies as well as holding my work to incredibly high standards. Without their guidance I would not have been adequately prepared for the rigorous course work required at the graduate level. I am so thankful for my time at FLC and will forever consider myself a Skyhawk at heart!

Melissa McConnellMelissa McConnell, BA History, 2009
In 2014 I moved to Denver to pursue a double masters degree from the University of Denver in Library Science and Curriculum and Instruction. My objective is to become a highly qualified teacher librarian in a secondary school. I'm currently student teaching in an 8th grade Social Studies class. I was appointed to the American Association of School Libraries (AASL) Legislative Committee and am also involved in the Colorado Association of Libraries (CAL) Legislative committee. In these roles, I like to be in the front lines of library advocacy and policy change. I am also serving as the parliamentarian for the CAL board, thanks to my experience as a court justice with ASFLC at Fort Lewis. I am very passionate about advocating for highly effective library programs in schools as a mechanism for access. I believe strong libraries in schools increase student achievement, close opportunity gaps, prepare students for college and career options, and develop 21st century literacy skills. My experiences taking advantage of study abroad and innovative months while at Fort Lewis had an immense impact on igniting my obsession with travel and endless curiosity about the world. I love to write science fiction and fantasy, and hike, jeep, and camp in the mountains with my papillon.

Drew Warner Drew Warner, BA History 2006
Drew Warner graduated from Fort Lewis College with degrees in history and in May 2006. He has since then moved on to graduate school, and is now a second year law student at the James E Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Drew's history research thesis was on Mexican migration to the United States, and his interest in the topic has persisted. He is now studying immigration law, is a student researcher at AU's Immigration Law Clinic, and president of the Immigration Law Student Association. He is glad to speak to FLC students considering or interested in law school, or in the University of Arizona.

Of his time at FLC, Drew reflects, "Fort Lewis College has been really great to me. The Chihuahua, Mexico foreign exchange program in the Sociology department changed my life trajectory, and I was fortunate enough to have some really great, accessible mentors, like Michael Fry and Neil McHugh."