Editorial assistant and freelance writer
Currently, I am working as an editorial assistant and freelance writer for Ecosystem Marketplace. Ecosystem Marketplace is an environmental news site that seeks to increase awareness and information accessibility regarding developments in the environmental market world. While I did not study this subject in school, the job gives me the opportunity to write and work for an organization that is seeking to positively change the world we live in.
Why did you choose to major in history at Calvin?
At its core, history is about people and their stories. As a history major at Calvin, I could embrace my love for people’s stories. The classes allow me to delve into the so-called ordinary stories of the past, looking at how individuals lived at any given time. I knew that at some point, I wanted to do something with journalism, and studying history gave me a chance to know what led up to the situations I am writing about today.
How did your time at Calvin prepare you for what you are doing now?
Studying history at Calvin allowed me to move beyond simple facts of an event into the larger story. An event is not one-dimensional; it includes people, motivation, emotion and, most importantly, future impact. As a writer, I incorporate the curiosity that history inspired with the technical skills that my professors instilled in me through their critique over the years. Studying history also gave me the confidence that I could tackle any topic—which is especially important for my current position.
What are some of your memories of the Calvin History department?
Not surprising, some of my favorite parts of history classes were the stories hidden inside a topic. The best stories came from Early Modern European and American History classes. It was like hearing a little bit of insider gossip—and it helped me remember the topic. But my best memories are from my senior year. Whether it was from animated class discussion, the “creative” answers to quiz questions from 395 or discussing 394 papers, there is a different level of interaction during senior year.
Do you have any advice for current students or those thinking of majoring in history at Calvin?
If you like history, even a little bit, try to make it a part of your time at Calvin. It is not just about the professors (who are all willing to help you with papers, recommendations, etc.); history teaches you more about the current state of the world than any other topic. It is much more about the why than the what of the past and present. If you decide to major in History, approach paper topics like you are looking for a good book. It takes a little while to find a good one among the stack of options, but when you do, the process will be much more enjoyable.