Melissa Geddis 2015 (M.A., American, HisTEMH)
Ph.D. student at George Washington University

Q: What did you like about the program?
A: I really enjoyed the sense of comradery that developed among my classmates. The program is on the smaller side so of course the classes are as well. We (my friends and I) came into the program as strangers, but through this shared experience, we became a family of sorts. While I don’t have the chance to see them as frequently as I once did, we still make it a point to stay in contact and reconvene every year at the Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series. 

Another thing I liked about this program is that while the faculty is comprised of amazing scholars, they’re also good people who genuinely care about their students’ overall wellbeing as well as academic performance. I definitely grew as much personally as academically while at Rutgers.

Q: What was the greatest strength of the program?
A: There are too many to name one as the greatest, but towards the top is definitely that fact that the program does an excellent job of preparing students for careers both in and outside an academic setting. The faculty and staff are really great with offering career advice and passing along different professional development opportunities.

Q: What courses best helped you prepare for your Master's thesis/essay?
A: The two research seminars I took definitely provided the most preparation in terms of hands on primary source research and original analysis. They helped me develop a strategy for conducting and organizing my research, while also honing my writing and editing skills.

Q: Do you have any advice for current graduate stduents?
A: Make the best of the opportunities in front of you. Utilize the resources provided by the university and surrounding area (i.e. Newark Public Library, NYPL, etc.), and don’t be afraid to ask for help from your faculty, classmates, or staff.

Describe your experience in three (3) words or phrases:
"Best decision ever!