PC’s History Department Prepares Students to be Active Global Citizens

A liberal arts education creates an environment which cultivates in its students the ideal of service to the less fortunate. Learning to think about the experiences, languages, cultures, and history of others allows the liberal arts student to consider how their innate and learned skills can be used for the benefit of people around the world and, by extension, the whole of society.

The History Department at PC offers students an educational experience that places them in the middle of an engaging global-based curriculum. The desired outcome of this journey is the development of active global citizens.

“History students learn about peoples from many different eras, cultures, and experiences,” said Dr. Richard R. Heiser, Professor of History.  “For them to put that knowledge to work in ways that help others is one of the types of application of knowledge we seek for them.”

As another academic year winds down, the results of years of hard work and critical thinking can be seen in three history majors preparing to graduate and make a difference in the world.

Here are their stories:

Taylor Warner ’13

warner-taylor-historyTaylor Warner was drawn to PC because of the feeling of community and the service aspect of the school.  Her experience at PC was one filled with service opportunities locally and abroad, and this commitment to service combined with education has defined her.

“The PC experience with smaller classes and professors who serve as mentors and role models has meant so much to me,” Taylor said.  “The liberal arts approach to learning has broadened my perspective greatly.”

Taylor has been busy completing coursework for her triple major (History, Political Science and International Studies) and a double minor (Psychology and Chinese Studies).  During her time as a PC student, Taylor has participated in a number of study abroad programs, spending time in Egypt, Wales and China.

Taylor’s passion for service, combined with PC’s motto, “While we live, we serve,” led her to be very active in PC’s Student Volunteer Services program.  She also leads the Big Brother/Big Sister program at Thornwell and works with PC-V, a campus campaign to raise awareness about violence against women in the U.S and abroad.  Taylor’s commitment to service was acknowledged during the Honors Day Convocation as she received the Jack and Jane Presseau Community Service Award for 2013.

“The approach to learning at PC is wonderful,”  Taylor said.  “It allowed me to use the experiences from my extracurricular activities in the classroom, deepening the learning experience.”

After graduation, Taylor will move to Phoenix, Arizona to become a teacher with Teach for America. She looks forward to helping students rise above challenging conditions to learn and experience new opportunities.

Patrick Kennedy ’13

kennedy-patrick-historyPatrick Kennedy’s parents became Mission Service Corps volunteers when he was five years old.  They moved several times during the remainder of his youth before he came to Presbyterian College.  Patrick is completing a triple major in History, International Studies, and Spanish, with a minor in English.

The influence of his parents’ vocation, combined with his study abroad experience during his sophomore year, have led Patrick to join the Peace Corps. After graduation, Patrick will be preparing for his new position as a Youth Promoter in Guatemala.

“My experience at PC and the personalized approach to learning, have prepared me well for my first job with the Peace Corps,” Patrick said.  “I have received an enormous amount of support from faculty and students, including two PC alums, Lacy Feigh and Amanda Sutker, who are currently working for the Corps in Ethiopia.”

Patrick  and Taylor have also signed up to participate in the Coverdell World Wise Schools program.  The program will allow them to collaborate and introduce their students to different cultures and experiences.

Patrick received the Outstanding Senior Award for 2013 and was named the Outstanding Senior for the History and Spanish Departments for 2013.

Eric Blake ’13

Eric Blake chose to attend PC because of the strong commitment to service and his positive impression of the faculty when he visited campus.

blake-eric“The History Department in particular struck me as a very strong community of faculty and students working together,” Eric said.

A double major in history and political science, Eric has found the PC experience to be a strong personal growth experience, combining academic and intellectual learning.

“I certainly feel well-prepared as I continue my education at the graduate level,” he said.  “I have made life-long friends with students and professors, relationships that I know will continue in the future.”

The PC experience has led Eric to consider a career involving international relations and U.S. foreign policy, using his knowledge of history to address contemporary issues.

After graduation, Eric plans to attend graduate school to earn a Master’s degree in International Studies or World Politics before pursuing a career with the U.S. Department of State or in the U.S. intelligence Community.

Blake was named the Outstanding Senior for the Political Science Department for 2013.