Ryan Sandor (MAT, American)
Social Studies Teacher
Q: What did you like about the program?
A: The professors came from a wide range of backgrounds and interests, which diversified my understanding of history and historical narratives.
Q: What aspect of your training in history shaped your professional experience?
A: The training I received through the graduate program prepared me to go into classrooms with more than just content knowledge, but a firm grasp of historical narratives and historiographies. This method melded well with more critical pedagogies of teaching history. Interrogating the way history is shaped and told is becoming just as valuable of a skill as the “established” necessary content knowledge.
Q: Do you have any advice for current graduate students?
A: Don’t be afraid to air out ideas. From my experience, this history department really treats you as a contributor to the program/course, not just a student. In this respect, you are given the ability to put your voice out there to get feedback from professors and, just as important, other talented students.
Q:What courses best helped you prepare for your Master’s thesis/essay?
A: My Master’s project was a US History II curriculum, and the course that influenced me the most in thinking about the course was a crossover with the American Studies Program, “Modern/Post-Modern.” The timelines overlapped with a typical US History II course, but different histories were drawn in to provide a more holistic experience of the time periods. We used art, literature, and academic histories to trace the usage and instances of the “modern” and “post-modern” American society.
Describe your experience in three (3) words or phrases:
Challenging and enlightening.