Holly Atkins

Holly Atkins

Holly Atkins, MA Student

MA Student

What drew you to graduate work at UB?

I went to UB as an undergraduate and was blown away by the knowledge and skill of the history department faculty. The classes I attended as an undergrad were fascinating and insightful, and they shaped the way I look at the world today. When it came time to decide on a graduate school, I knew I wanted to continue my research with a department that had already taught me so much.

What has been your favorite class or experience so far?

I’d say it’s a tie between Professor Malka’s American History Core I and Professor Thornton’s American Intellectual History. The topics and discussions were extremely interesting in both classes, and both professors found ways to engage with us outside the typical “analyze this paragraph and discuss” format. They made the topics relevant to the modern day and encouraged us to look at sources you never would have thought of otherwise.

What do you hope to do after graduation, and how do you see your degree preparing you for that goal?

I’d love to use the writing and research skills that I’ve honed as a graduate student for my career, whether that be in the field of history or not. A lot of people don’t realize that a history degree teaches you skills that are needed in the every-day workforce. You don’t need to become a teacher for your time here to be useful.

If you could have dinner with one famous historical person, who would it be?

Charles Sumner. It could be before or after he was nearly caned to death on the Senate floor, but as one of the leading and most radical anti-slavery forces in Congress, I’m sure he’d have plenty of interesting things to say!