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Our Alumni

Here are a few of the dozens of students who have graduated from the program in recent years. Our graduates find positions in museums, archives, historical organizations, schools and universities, and the private sector.

Jochen S. Arndt

I entered the graduate program at SFA with a passion for history but also some anxieties given that I possessed no formal academic training in the discipline. However, the faculty, staff and fellow graduate students provided a supportive and inspiring atmosphere, which allowed me to succeed in the learning process. Because of this, my initial anxieties disappeared and two years passed by rapidly. Before I knew it, I had acquired the historical and historiographical knowledge, as well as the critical thinking and writing skills, necessary to be accepted into multiple Ph.D. programs. Looking back, I can say I made the right choice to enroll in SFA’s graduate program in history, and my experience at SFA has had a lasting and significant impact on my career.

Jochen S. Arndt (MA 2007) is an Assistant Professor at Virginia Military Institute

Carolyn Cullen

Since graduating with my MA, I have taught dual-credit history courses for Lone Star College and I currently teach AP History for The Woodlands’ Christian Academy. My experience in the graduate program at SFA prepared me for success in both teaching and research. I had the opportunity to work with several archival collections and received excellent support and guidance from the faculty. My coursework provided valuable knowledge of teaching strategies and historiography, which I share with my AP students today. I would recommend Stephen F. Austin to any student seeking a career in History Education.

Carolyn Cullen (MA 2011) teaches at the Woodlands Christian Academy

Chuck Dendy
Several years ago I woke up one Saturday morning with time on my hands. The kids were gone and there were no more of those things – soccer practice, cheerleader practice, band concerts, etc. – that had taken up so much of my time for 20 years. What was I to do? Thirty-five years before the decision had been to go to law school rather than graduate school in history. While there were no regrets about that decision, I had continued to read history for my own enjoyment. Was getting a master’s degree in history when pushing 60 even possible? Much to my delight I discovered that all SFA graduate history courses are at night. I decided to give it a try. I took one course at a time – one evening a week – and before I knew it, I was a freshly minted master of history and, wonder of wonders, I am now an adjunct faculty member teaching one section of freshman U.S. History. Little did I know long ago that I would someday be both a lawyer and a college history teacher.

Chuck Dendy (MA 2012) is an Attorney at Law in Lufkin, TX

Hayley Hasik

As an undergraduate, I discovered my passion for oral history and veterans' studies. Prior to joining the program at SFA, I found myself with a lot of hands-on public history experience, but I wanted more formal training and exposure to other facets of public history. I jumped at the chance to join a program that is small in size but offers ample opportunities both in and outside the classroom. The public history projects I completed at SFA, coupled with the continued study of historical content, helped set me apart and gain acceptance to several doctoral programs. In addition, my cohort provided great support to each other throughout our studies. Not only did we challenge each other academically, but we also formed lifelong friendships and professional connections.

Hayley Hasik (MA 2017) is a Ph.D. Candidate in History at the University of Southern Mississippi

Jake McAdams

I decided to study in SFA's MA program because it provides theory-based knowledge and hands-on experience in various public history settings. SFA’s unique program prepared me to succeed in archival and museum work, historic preservation, and resource interpretation in settings varying from small non-profit organizations to federal institutions. My professors challenged me in the classroom and required projects that provided the essential experience employers seek. Graduating from SFA’s Master’s program enabled me to quickly find a public history job in which I can improve the lives of individuals and communities.

Jake McAdams (MA 2013) is an assistant project manager for Public Management, Inc.



Kaitlin Wieseman

Upon graduating with my Bachelor of Arts degree I decided to continue my education. I have always loved history and wanted to pursue a career in a museum. I could not think of a better place to earn a Master of Arts degree with an emphasis in public history than the graduate program at Stephen F. Austin State University. Throughout graduate school I learned invaluable skills and gained experience which I have utilized as the Education Coordinator at the Texas Forestry Museum. With the knowledge, experience, and skills that the history graduate program provided me, I have accomplished my dream of working in a museum.

Kaitlin Wieseman (MA 2011) is the Education Coordinator at the Texas Forestry Museum in Lufkin, TX

Travis Wise

When I entered SFA’s graduate program, I mistakenly assumed it would only be an extension of my undergrad schooling. Sure, it involved some of the same facts, dates, and historical events—but instead of learning recorded history, I learned how history is recorded. By going through the graduate program, I learned how to view the past through an interpretative lens, how to analyze disparate viewpoints, and how to skillfully communicate my own opinions. While these skills are critical to historians they are a boon to any career, and all of them have benefited me daily in my work as a financial advisor.

Travis Wise (MA 2010) is a financial advisor with Axa Advisors, LLC in Houston, TX


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