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Testimonials from USF Humanities and American Studies Alumni

Apart from the rich intellectual experience of working among professors actively engaged in research, my experience as a graduate student in Humanities provided me with a broad interdisciplinary background that has made me, in a word, employable. My training at USF gave me the necessary experience for teaching, museum work, and non-profit arts management. I'm now a full-time university instructor as well as a busy freelance writer and editor. Further, the holistic approach of the department, which stresses the interrelatedness of the arts, provided a strong foundation for my current doctoral studies in anthropology.
Elizabeth Heath
Master of Liberal Arts, 1991

As a social scientist interested in understanding human behavior in organizations, I continuously call upon the analytical skills I developed in my American Studies program at USF. In particular, my education in American Studies helped me to realize that modern culture is so rich with history and meaning. Our societal culture influences how we think, how we live, and how we work, what we value, and even how we view ourselves. Understanding the events that have shaped and influenced this culture is critical to understanding modern behavior. My education in American Studies at USF changed how I viewed society and taught me to how to analyze and appreciate the origins and nuances of our culture.
Randy Blass, Ph.D.
Department of Management
College of Business
Florida State University
American Studies B.A., 1990

I am very grateful for my time at USF. Aside from making great friends and meeting my wife of 16 years, I got a top-notch education that prepared me for my current occupation. I was always a big history buff, so when I found out about the American Studies Program I was very intrigued. What appealed to me was the fact that we explored the total cultural experience within the political and economic framework of history. One of my fondest memories was learning about research methods in Dr. Phyllis Brewer’s class by developing a hypothesis about the types of vehicles one might find in the student versus faculty parking lots. We then went out and surveyed the lots and reviewed our assumptions. I was able to assist in research on the local skinhead movement, work with the Urban League, and really get behind the issues to learn about the everyday people who both made and were affected by history. The flexibility of the program allowed me to take a diverse but focused course load that included English, Economics, Political Science, and fine arts. Along the way I learned invaluable research skills, fine-tuned my writing, and learned how to prepare and present findings. As the Adult Education Supervisor for Flagler County Public Schools, one of my major responsibilities is grant writing and implementation. I call upon the skills I acquired in the American Studies Department daily as I do research in economic trends, labor markets, and student performance data; I make presentations to local businesses, staff, local government, and service organizations; I do a lot of writing both for grants and for marketing purposes. All of this is possible because of the strong foundation I received in the American Studies Program at USF, and for that I will always be grateful. Thank you to the exceptional faculty and staff of the American Studies Program.
Kevin P. McCarthy
American Studies B.A., 1990

The American Studies program was the highlight of my college career and prepared me well for a Master's Degree in Library and Information Science. It was the interdisciplinary nature of the program that attracted me; that opened up various ways of critical thinking as dictated by each liberal arts discipline. I also chose the program because I felt it gave me the opportunity to get in touch with my own American roots through popular culture as it was applied in the fields of art, literature and history. I would make the same choice if given the opportunity again.
Joan Miller
American Studies B.A., 1988