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Where are you currently located, and what are you up to?

I am currently located in Manhattan, New York and I am a 7th grade self-contained special education teacher.

How did you become interested in history?

I became interested in history as a young girl listening to my mother pass on our oral family history. I remember trying to soak up as much information about our past as possible. My mother is half Liberian and half Lebanese and has a masterful skill of story-telling. Her stories keep all who lend an ear engaged for hours. I remember the stories so vividly as if I were there. It was common in my home for a family member to ask a question pertaining to who was related to whom, or how this person came to be. In Liberian culture oral history is highly valued. Our past is our roots. Later in life I was blessed with great history teachers who taught me the importance of education and our past. I wanted to follow in their paths. Social studies education was my passion since 6th grade and I knew I would make this happen.

How did Fredonia’s Department of History prepare you for your current work/future plans?

I was very fortunate to have Fredonia. I was much more prepared for the classroom experience than many of my other friends in similar majors at different schools. I was placed in the classroom as early as my freshman year of college. Many of my friends transferred right after that semester, but I knew this is where I wanted to be. History is interesting to learn, but using those ideas to formulate and back up a thesis was the hard part. My professors were always available to look over my papers or give me advice. I was able to form a great connection with so many professors. More so, I was fortunate to form close relationships with other history majors that I am still in close contact with today. They are my life-long friends. Another greatect of Fredonia’s program was the screening process. It was perfect practice for the interviews which came later. I learned to be quick on my feet; interviews often consist of a panel of very educated individuals who want to make sure that you are the best fit for their school. High school students have such unique and specific questions, so you need to be able to respond to these. After screening I felt as though I was able to tackle interviews and more. Earning a New York State degree is a significant achievement.

What advice do you have for incoming freshmen to our program?

My advice for new freshman is that you should never be afraid to mess up. College is a trial and error establishment. The best part is that there are so many people to help you when you need it. Do not be afraid to ask. Forming close relationships with professors is why you chose a small liberal art school. Also, work hard. Deadlines are meant to ready you for the real world. A good GPA is invaluable. There is a great deal of distractions in college (I would know) but the reason you came was for a great education. You can receive that at Fredonia.

History Department

  • E332 Thompson Hall State University of New York at Fredonia Fredonia, NY 14063

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