Peri is a history major with minors in Pre-Law Studies and Business Administration. She currently serves as Vice President III of Zeta Tau Alpha and has been inducted into the Phi Alpha Theta and Omicron Delta Kappa Honor societies. Peri also has been involved in the Presbyterian College Stirlings, the Writing Center, and the PC Dance Team. She has had the opportunity to travel to Scotland with the History Department in 2016 and plans to travel to the Galapagos Islands with the department in 2017.
Why did you choose to come to PC and what made you interested in majoring in history?
I found Presbyterian College through Palmetto Girls State, a competitive summer program for South Carolina women interested in leadership. I chose to attend PC because of the individual attention offered by small class sizes and the liberal arts academics. From a young age, I discovered that I loved studying and critically analyzing the events that have created nations and made leaders out of ordinary individuals (my favorite book is Suetonius’ Lives of the Caesars – I got it when I was 12!). As an aspiring attorney, I understood that history or political science would give me the most beneficial critical thinking and writing training to prepare me for my career. It was after writing several papers and participating in Socratic debates in Dr. Heiser’s challenging yet exciting “Rise of World Cultures” class that I realized that the History Department would be my home!
How would you describe your experience in PC’s History Department?
First, I have to admit – the most important part of this department is not found in a classroom. It is found with professors who will allow you to talk about life with them during their office hours, experience touring castles where royals once lived and laugh with you about the latest history funny you’ve found over donuts and coffee. You see, it’s the people who make this department the most vibrant and enjoyable environment on campus because the majors are just as inviting and cordial as the professors.
Secondly, the curriculum is challenging, yet interesting. It may sound cliché, but I’ve never met a history class I didn’t like. From Dr. Campbell’s “Violence and Revolution in the French Empire” to Dr. Sumner’s “Modern Latin America”, history majors receive a well-rounded education about the world in which we live. History professors expect a commitment to hard work, but they encourage and help you to “pursue excellence”!
What advice would you give to students considering coming to PC and majoring in history?
My best advice for a prospective historian would be to branch out of your “historian comfort zone”. Like most historians, I have a particular soft spot for certain historical subjects: I have always felt most at home studying continental Europe. Fortunately for my critical thinking skills, PC has allowed me to branch out through new and different topics, like studying the development and challenges of Pacific French colonies. As a historian, you will learn so much about the world around you through expanding your knowledge, but you may learn even more about yourself and what you can accomplish when challenged in this way. I would also assert that if possible, future historians should travel abroad with the History Department. The 2016 Scotland Maymester was the most exciting trip of my life, and the future opportunities scheduled by the History Department are unparalleled. Study abroad truly is the experience of a lifetime.