Department Fact Sheet
History

Department of History

Department Chair: Ronald Rittgers, Ph.D.
College of Arts & Sciences, Rm. 354
Ron.Rittgers@valpo.edu

Majors offered:
History, B.A., M.A.L.S.

Links to Web sites:
Catalogs
Department of History
(department maintained)

VALPO HISTORY MAJORS know that the analytical thinking skills and contextual understanding they develop through their studies will allow them to succeed in any field. These students analyze both the great and forgotten events of world history and explore topics as diverse as witchcraft and China's Cultural Revolution.

What Is Distinctive About Valpo's Program?

Location:
Valpo's proximity to Chicago provides an added bonus to History students, offering some of the world's most famous museums; the Art Institute; the Field Museum; the Museum of Science and Industry; and the Oriental Institute.

Just 15 minutes from campus lies the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore which features a living history museum of Northwest Indiana's early settlements, Chellberg Farm and the Bailly Homestead.

Research:
Valpo undergraduates have considerable opportunities to do research in their field. For example, History major Andrew Malone (VU '01) completed a year-long senior honors project on Jackie Robinson and the integration of major league baseball.

What Can You Do with a History Major?

Degree, Skills or Experience Needed for Beginning a Job in This Field:
A bachelor's degree is often sufficient for entry-level openings in management training programs, paralegal work, teaching, and some government and business jobs. A History major is considererd highly desirable for further study in law, history, library science, archival and museum work, public administration, public management, urban planning, political science, theology, international studies, and similar fields. Employment as a professional historian in teaching, publishing, or government usually demands education beyond the Master's degree.

Kinds of Work Available to Graduates in this Major:
The nature of training in History may help you to do better in any and every field. It has specific relevance to work as a historical writer/researcher in government and business; as a museum curator or archivist; as a teacher or professor; as a government official or worker at the local, regional, state, national, or international level (in archives, embassies, consulates, or information offices). Many graduates today choose further education in law or international studies to pursue their history-based careers.

Potential Hiring Institutions:
Businesses, corporations, museums, libraries, archives, cultural foundations, governmental and public agencies, colleges, law firms, television, radio, newspapers, magazine and book publishers, international organizations, travel agencies, primary and secondary schools, education, agencies and foundations, research institutions, historical associations and societies.

Extracurricular Groups:
Valpo History students participate in the Phi Alpha Theta -- History Honors Society -- and Phi Gamma Mu -- Social Sciences Honor Society. Honor society members gather together for activities like junk food and film nights and for field trips to Chicago for things like the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the Field Museum and the Vietnam War and Beatles exhibits at the Chicago Historical Society. Noted historians are often invited to campus for public lectures and to meet informally with History majors.

Off-Campus Opportunities

Internships:
Valpo History majors intern at a variety of interesting sites. For example, Jason Stoehr won a Historical Deerfield Summer Fellowship for summer 2001 and participated in an intensive museum studies program in colonial American history at Historic Deerfield, Inc., Deerfield, Massachusetts. Beth Benda was an intern with Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic, CT.

Study Abroad:
Students are encouraged to expand their historical perspective by participating in one of Valpo’s 14 international studies programs in countries such as Mexico, England, Spain, France, Greece, Germany, Namibia, China, or Japan. Students may also take advantage of semester-long programs in New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

Notable Alumni:

Graduates with majors in History include:

Craig Anderson (VU '63), Dean and President, General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church, New York City

Frederick Barton (VU '70), Dean of Liberal Arts, University of New Orleans, winner of the Faulkner Society Creative Writing Competition

Rebecca Pallmeyer (VU '76), Federal Court Judge, Chicago