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Skidmore College
Office Location: Tisch Learning Center, Room # 316
815 North Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

DEPARTMENT CHAIR:
Tillman Nechtman, Associate Professor of History
(518) 580 - 5268

DEPARTMENT SECRETARY:
Susan Matrazzo
(518) 580 - 5261

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Alumni
1990-1999

Daniel S. Hollman '90

Manhattan, New York. I was an inter-departmental major while atSkidmore - Government-History. After graduation, I attended the University of Notre Dame Law School, and I am currently an associate with the law firm of Vedder, Price, Kaufman & Kammholz, P.C. in Manhattan specializing in labor/employment law, accountants' liability and securities litigation. My history degree (American History) has given me perspective on the uniqueness and beauty of our country, its political institutions, and the importance of debate, conviction and compromise in our society. As an attorney, I amconstantly reminded of how much that passes as new is actually built on ideas, theories, or arguments pronounced long ago. They say "all the world is a teacher," however, some forget that she has been teaching for thousands of years.

Todd A. O'Brien '90

Philadelphia, PA, General Manager - Manage food & beverage operation at a campus. Past positions include Food & Beverage Director at a Hotel, General Manager of Food & Beverage at a Civic and Convention Center and other Food Service Director positions at various business dining accounts. Officer in the United States Coast Guard Reserve, Operations Department at Group Philadelphia. My history degree has helped me in communication skills. This encompasses writing, research and having a broad knowledge of the world and its events.

Karen A. Levitt '90

Location: I live in Keene, New Hampshire which is in the South Westernpart of the state. Education: Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from Smith College, May 2000, Achieved certification as a Senior Program Director with the YMCA of America. Current Tittle: Teacher - History and Social Sciences Department, Northfield Mount Hermon School. Job Description: I teach high school students at a private boarding school in central Massachusetts. I currently teach junior level US History Survey and I am one of the core teachers of the sophomore World History curriculum. Part of my role at school for the past 3 years has included the tittle of term abroad leader. I am the director of our Winter Term Abroad program for Juniors and Seniors to the Dominican Republic. I also lead a historically based trip to South Africa in the Spring of 2003. On top of teaching and traveling I am also the varsity girl's crew coach in the fall, and the girl's novice coach in the spring. Past Jobs Related to History: Out of college I worked as a research assistant for the public policy research firm, Abt Associates in Cambridge, MA. A few years later I left that job to take a position as the program director at the Cheshire County YMCA in Keene, NH. Part of my job as program director was to direct the 8th grade trips to Washington DC for 13 area schools.

Julia Radochia '90

Los Angeles, CA, Title : Software QA Analyst (contractor), Company: LRN - The Legal Knowledge Company. Also: Actor and Film Student --though in front of the camera stuff is taking a back seat to behind the camera these days. Further Education: No further degree, but have received a certificate in Cinema Production at Los Angeles City College. Am currently an advanced student editing one of my film projects. How history has played into my work/life: In software quality assurance, the history mindset has been very applicable. In order to find bugs and address additional usability issues you have to consider all angles, do the research to find bugs and often even further research to reproduce them correctly. I have met quite a few other History majors who got into QA. In acting: in one role I played an historical figure so I became a sort of history student again to do research on her. In film and film school: I was so happy that were required to take two film history classes (documentary and narrative) in order to advance in the film program! Made me feel connected to my History degree. And while I'm doing narrative films right now, I am interested in documentaries, and have a couple of ideas for films, which will depend on good historical research. And even in just writing a narrative script with no historical context,there's often some amount of research you do -- you have to know something about what you're writing. So even though I never set to apply my History degree directly to any job, it still has had a way of resurfacing over and over again.

Vandana Bali '91

Location: San Francisco, CA, Graduate School: 1994, MA Government, College of William and Mary in Virgina, Career Title: Director, Clean Vehicles Program for the American Lung Association of California. I started my career as a legislative assistant on Capitol Hill in 1994. Since then, I've worked as a Senior Project Manager at Excite@Home and AOL/Netscape on network infrastructure deployments and web site management. I've finally landed back in a field I love: air quality policy for the American Lung Association of California. I've worked successfully in: government (Legislative Assistant, Capitol Hill, Washington, DC), hi-tech (Sr. Project Manager, Excite@Home, AOL/Netscape, Silicon Valley), and nonprofit sectors (Santa Monica and now San Francisco). I believe it has a lot to do with the strong liberal arts and social sciences education I received both as an undergrad and grad student. The key benefits of my undergraduate degree included an emphasis on research, critical thinking, writing and exposure to a broad curriculum. I have also maintained my love for singing and released my debut CD, available at http://www.vandana.net, in late 2001.

Todd B. Catlin '91

Double Major History and Art History Washington, Connecticut VP, Christopher B. Boshears, LLC Interior Design Firm. My working career has taken me from Sotheby's in New York, to curating for a private Art Collector in NYC, to working for a designer. Although I probably use my Art History degree more, History has been helpful. I tend to think it has made me a more well spoken and thoughtful person, both personally and professionally.

Matt Fotter '91

I received my History BA in 1991. I live in Mandeville, Louisiana where I work as for PeopleSoft as an information security Consultant on a project for the Department of Defense. Not sure how my degree directly impacts my job, except that I still write a great deal of papers!

Nick Lawrence '91

Class of 1991 graduate with a double major in History and Anthropology. I moved to Chicago in the Spring of 1993 and have been here ever since though I grew up in Massachusetts. I taught special education for several years and took classes at Northwestern University exploring both a Masters in Education and a Doctorate in History. Instead I became involved in technology, first on the sales side and subsequently in IT systems management. My title is Manager, IT & AS400 Systems for Peapod, Inc., a company that lets people order home delivery of groceries through our website. I have been with Peapod for six years and have done a little of everything, but my responsibilities now are to make sure that my systems run smoothly and to manage the cost of the technologies we use by negotiating with our vendors, a constant process. With regard to how my history background plays into my work and daily life I believe it gives perspective. Certainly an appreciation for economic boom and bust cycles is relevant to anyone involved in any way with technology, particularly those who worked for "dot-coms" in the late nineties. Technology is fueled by brilliant thinking and innovation but enthusiasm for the latest development has to be balanced with business reality to avoid the fate that many of the dot-coms experienced. At the same time one must parse out real opportunities vs. being overly conservative. The study of History is evaluation of events, concepts, strategies, individuals and results in my opinion, all of which help inform current decisions. I read history far more than anything else and documentaries dominate my tv viewing so I am still as interested as I was as an undergraduate.

Todd Pantezzi '91

Darnestown, MD (Washington, DC suburb)Further Education: None Career title/description: Manager, Business Development/Identify, qualify, and bid on larger government contracts for out sourcing and information technology consulting services. Combines management consulting, marketing, sales, and M&A. How has my history degree come into play in work/life: For work, provided a fundamental understanding of how the federal government functions, which in my role with a federal government contractor is important. The written and verbal communications skills and the research skills that I developed while pursuing my history major form the basis for my ability to be effective in an industry that requires strong speaking, writing, and intelligence-gathering skills. I also read nonfiction history rather than fictional novels for entertainment.

Bradley Ross Bernstein '92

Located in Beverly Hills California (part time in New York and London) Film/Legit Theatre Producer and Talent Manager Fast Track Pictures and Fast Track Management. Hmm, how does my degree come in handy. Well, a big part of my job is producing plays in London's West End. My major focus was English History so my major comes in handy a lot :-) I tend to produce revivals of older playwrights such as Wilde so it helps to understand their historical perspective. Also, understanding the culture that I work in helps immensely.

Sara Perlman Barrow '92

I am currently a program officer for Family Philanthropy Advisors in Minneapolis, MN. I am the program officer for four family foundations whose assets top $50 million. Prior to this work, I have worked in the public sector specializing in finance and economic development. My history degree has helped me in many ways throughout my career. My thorough grounding in research has allowed me to produce documents and policy positions that can stand the test of time. My appreciation and understanding for the way the past shapes the present has allowed me to connect with clients and constituents at all levels. Finally, my knowledge of the past and ability to memorize political history has greatly advantaged me in the past ten years as I have been heavily involved in the political arena. I expect my degree to help me in the future in these areas, especially when I run for office myself. Thanks Skidmore History Dept. (Especially Professor Kuroda!!)

Leo Costello '93

I was a history major, graduating in 1993. I am now living in Houston, TX where I work as Curatorial Assistant for Prints, Drawings and 20th-Century Art. I earned a Ph.D. in Art History from Bryn Mawr College in 2002. My history degree was initially very useful to me in applying to graduate school for art history where a broad historical background was appreciated as a sound basis for further specialization. Since I focused primarily on modern American history at Skidmore, I have since made constant made use of the information and research skills I gained there, as I wrote an MA thesis on 20th century American art and criticism, and continue to write about art of this period, both in my work at the museum and in outside projects.

Mark T. Brassard '93

Location: Boston, MA. Additional Education: MBA (Finance), Ohio State University (1999); completed the Chartered Financial Analyst Program (2003)
Career Info: Portfolio Manager, Citizens Bank, Boston MA

Geoff Hunt '93

I graduated from Skidmore as a History (and Government) major in 1993.  Currently I am teaching Political Economy,Constitutional Law, and Government at Beacon High School--an alternative public high school--in Manhattan.  I am also an adjunct professor of English at John Jay college, teaching a course in linguistics.  I am very happy to say that some of my former students are now studying as undergrads at Skidmore, though I wasn't able to convince any of them to major in History. I studied at Teacher's College, Columbia University for my MA in teaching social studies.  I completed that coursework and student teaching in the summer of 2001 and this is my third school year at the Beacon School.  Obviously, history comes into my professional life daily and more than that, I feel as though the education I received at Skidmore--especially in the history department, continues to help enrich my personal life as well.  I still have all my books and reread some of them when I have the time.

Heather McClure '94

Additional education: University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Library and Information Studies, MLS, 2002
Also, I just started the Graduate Institute program at St. John's College leading to a MA of
Liberal Arts.

Current career: Associate Librarian for Technical Services and Archives, St. John's College, Santa Fe, NM
I handle all the cataloging and processing of the books and materials received by the library. I also take
care of book repair and conservation and I handle the college's archives. I supervise four student assistants, belong
to a campus committee, and work with three other fine librarians (we are a small school).

My history degree helped in graduate school with preparing me to do research and write coherently. In my current
career, I take my love and appreciation of history and apply it to preserving the history of my institution.

Constance B. Oberle '94

Geographic Location: Living in New York City and working in Stamford, CT. Further Education: Fordham University School of Law, Juris Doctor received 1999. Current Position: Senior Director & Legal Counsel, MemberWorks Inc.

John M. Johnston '95

Director Community Affairs State Senator Maritin J. Golden, 7403 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209

Catherine N. Carson '96

I graduated with a double major in History & English Literature. I have since worked as an auto insurance claim adjuster (property damage and personal injury) from 1997-2001, and completed a Masters in Library Science (MLS) at the University at Albany, SUNY, in 2002, with a focus in archives management. I have just started work on a MA in History at the College of Staten Island, CUNY, which I expect to finish in 2005. I also reside on Staten Island. I am currently the Research Assistant in the Archives & Special Collections of the Library at the College of Staten Island, CUNY. Essentially, I am an assistant archivist and much of my work involves processing and creating finding aids for archival record collections . I also handle reference inquiries for our collections and maintain the Archives & Special Collections web page. I started in this position in April, 2003, and have been working with the college archives and our collections of Staten Island political papers. My history background is very useful in performing the research to create the biographical or administrative history sections of the finding aids. A general knowledge of Staten Island history is also essential for my job and in providing reference services.

Aaron Sloboda '96

Hi! My name is Aaron Sloboda. I graduated in 1996 in the class of '96 and I now live with my wife in Baltimore, MD. Although my degree did not specify a concentration, I did most of my 'best' work in maritime history. My colloquium was on British naval sea power during the Napoleonic Wars at the beginning of the 19th century. Since graduating with my degree in history I have gone on to work in the maritime field. I've served and mate and crew on several historical sailing vessels including First Mate on North America's last commercial fishing schooner which still fishes commercially under sail power. I have also worked doing hands-on education for a nonprofit called Living Classrooms Foundation in Baltimore (http://www.livingclassrooms.org). I also ran their small boat sailing program for several years doing everything from grant and curriculum writing to vessel maintenance and staff training. Last spring I left LCF to open my own marine surveying and consulting company: Aaron's Marine Services (http://www.aaronsmarine.com). I have two certifications for Marine Surveying including one from the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (http://www.marinesurvey.org/). I have also recently obtained my Master's License through the US Coast Guard for 100 ton vessels with endorsements for both sailing and towing. My work, though not directly historical is constantly drawing on the analytical skill I learned studying history. Fair Winds, -Aaron

Leah Tomaszewski Merrill '97

Having a degree in History (and Government) from Skidmore does mean, for me, that I have worked in a Museum (the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC) and now teach history! Exeter, NH, Masters from Dartmouth - Instructor of History, Phillips Exeter Academy. I teach various courses in European history at PEA (where I went to high school from 1989-1993) and I love it. It is a boarding school, so I also run a dorm, coach, advise, and have a list of committees and clubs. Teaching history is fun and exciting, and I get to work with intellectually curious and talented students.

Kerry Dobbins '98

I am in Madison, Wisconsin. I am currently enrolled in the PhD program for Early Modern English history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Instead of telling you how my degree comes into play in my life, what I will do is tell you what I have learned about my Skidmore degree now that I am surrounded by other historians. My peers who attended Big 10 schools or other large universities are jealous of the individual attention I received in my undergraduate education. The reputation of Skidmore's writing program landed me a job teaching argument as part of the Madison writing program.

Bradford Gleim '98

After leaving Skidmore I taught American History as well as self-designed elective class at Wyoming Seminary, a private co-educational school in Kingston, PA. I then moved to Boston where I have remained for the past eight years. Whilst in Boston I have received an MEd in curriculum Development from Northeastern University with a concentration in World History. For my thesis, I designed an online curriculum that explores Peoples Movements in the 20th century: a course that examines peace and protest that has led to enhanced civil liberties and social justice in the world over that past 100 years ( a big project indeed!!). During that time I was a history teacher at City on a Hill Charter School in Boston where I taught American and World History and directed an outreach program for seniors at the school called City Project. I left teaching four years ago to pursue my first love, singing. Since then I have received a MM in Vocal Performance from the Longy School of Music and studied opera performance at the New England Conservatory. I live and work as a singer mostly in Boston and New England with some forays to other cities and countries including New York, Bermuda, Lucca, Italy, Charleston, SC, and San Francisco. My training in the humanities at Skidmore has proven essential to my interpretation as an artist, although I could have used some more exposure to Italian, French and German reading rather then translated texts as I now spend most of my free time perfecting those tongues

Christopher Constantian '99

In my currently role, I share responsibility for leading all business development activities for nineteen countries across Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. I assess new opportunities, analyze market intelligence, and design proposal submissions to USAID that incorporate technical best practices with a strong understanding of the local country context. For my job, it is essential that I understand the recent (and sometimes ancient) history that informs the context in which our projects will operate. Something that may work in Albania canʼt always work in Tajikistan, and visa-versa, totally based on the shared past experiences of its people. I must also have a strong understanding of the US governmentʼs priorities and strategic objectives, various funding and contracting mechanisms, and key personalities. It is here that my history (and government!) degrees are also very important for my work. Understanding our client (USAID) and knowing the history and politics of how its activities are used to support American foreign policy is essential to writing winning proposal submission.  David Porter once told me that college isnʼt for teaching you facts, it is for teaching you how to learn. I remember only a fraction of the hard facts I learned in the history classes I took, but I use the analytical skills I learned in Skidmore history classes every day. I am often asked to travel to a country where I donʼt speak the language or understand the culture and craft a proposal to the US government, suggesting how that country might restructure its government, change its laws, or better develop its economy. The first thing I always must do is understand how a country got to where it is today before I can be bold enough to understand how it might change going forward. Without the skills I gained in analyzing and understanding history while at Skidmore, that would be much harder. And far less effective.  Before going to Chemonics, I earned two graduate degrees in international relations, focusing on the Balkans. Of course, understanding history was essential for that graduate work as well.

Chris Harris '99

Location: Atlanta, current status: 2nd year law student at Georgia State University College of Law. My history degree helps me tremendously everyday. Generally speaking, it has helped me to be a more informed observer of critical current events and has provided a foundation through which I view the constantly cascading events that bombard our senses daily. The study of history at Skidmore also greatly improved my writing and research and communication abilities which are critical in every facet of life. Currently, my history degree proves valuable in my study of law by allowing me to make critical distinctions among cases and precedent specifically, and contributes to my overall understanding of our structures of government, how they were formed, have evolved and work together. I strongly encourage anyone interested to pursue a history degree and engage our strong history department.

Lindsay Miller McCormack, class of 1999

I chose to major in history by default: there was no other subject that I liked more, and I was better at history than anything else. So I declared my major, not knowing what I wanted to do, but rather what I didn't want to do. As my mother was a teacher, I knew the ins and outs of the profession. I knew that I did not want to pursue a career of teaching history. I also didn't feel intelligent or motivated enough for a life in academia.  However, I was motivated enough to find a job outside the dining hall for my work/study placement after my freshman year. I found one which was history related: working in the Department of Special Collections at the library, which houses the college archives and manuscript collections.  After studying abroad in England and France, I returned to Skidmore. For our history colloquium research papers, Prof Kuroda encouraged us to make use of primary source material. Both thinking about where to find these sources, as well as watching the archivist at work in the special collections, started me thinking about a career in archives.  I moved to England the summer after graduation, and got a voluntary job working in an archive in Oxford. This eventually led to paid work in a business archive (BP plc) as a trainee archivist.  After my traineeship, I completed a masters of arts in archive administration and records management. I now live in Reading, England, and work as an archivist in a county record office, which keeps the archives of the county local government bodies, local churches, hospitals, businesses, clubs, families and individuals.   Being an archivist is the perfect job for a nosy person like me, as you get to read documents that say 'confidential', 'closed until 2075',etc, and people's private letters and diaries. My work is varied: cataloging collections, giving talks/ tours/open days, being the cataloging software 'expert' for the office, preparing our quarterly newsletter, and helping researchers who email/write/call or visit our office with their research. Our collections date from the 12th century to the present day. Archivists also create websites, prepare exhibitions, and go on rescue missions to save records from the scrapheap, amongst other things.  My history major has informed my working life and personal life greatly. It led me to study abroad, where I met my future husband and inspired a move to England. It led me to a career in archives, which I love for its varied work. I also love the fact that I am constantly learning about the past from original sources, touching the same paper or parchment that the author touched hundreds of years ago. My Skidmore history major helped me to think creatively and to cultivate my writing ability, both of which are vital to my personal and professional life. Not bad for a major I chose by default!
 
Catherine E. Burke '99

After graduation (1999), I worked as a temp for about a year (because I was in an economically depressed area).  Then, I moved to North Carolina, where I worked at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing in the Continuing Education Department.  I helped organize conferences for nurses and other health care professionals, to keep their Continuing Education credits current.  I booked rooms, coordinated presentations with the A/V techs, prepared conference materials, and did a lot of customer service.  I began my graduate work at Syracuse University in the fall of 2004, and am currently in my fifth year of a PhD program at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, studying Medieval and Renaissance history.  I have been a Teaching Assistant since my first day here - I have taught Ancient and Medieval history, as well as Modern European and even recent American history.  As a graduate student at SU, I have also become involved in the Grad Student Organization (GSO) - an independent body of graduate students, which acts on behalf of the grad student community as a representative to the University administration.  We are a branch of student government, and the most important initiatives we have worked on in the past four years (which is the span of my involvement) have been:  the creation of Graduate Student Career Services, the investigation of the need for new grad student housing on campus (as it turns out, most grad students want to live *off* campus), and the creation of an endowment to provide child care scholarships to graduate students who are also parents.  We are hoping to disburse the first of the scholarships in the Fall of '09!  I have also served as a Graduate Student Representative to the History Department, which has afforded me an opportunity to work closely with the faculty to further the interests of the graduate students in the Department, and to become involved in searches for new Professors.  I stepped down from my post as Grad Rep this year, however, so that I can focus on taking my last two comprehensive exams.  I would encourage any student in the Skidmore History Department who has a passion for their field to pursue a graduate education.  It has been the most challenging experience of my life, but also the most rewarding!  Many graduate students avoid the civic engagements which I have become involved in here at SU, due to the academic demands of an advanced degree; but in the grand scheme of things, I have found that it helps to prepare you for a broader University experience.  Most institutions of higher learning want their professors to participate in service to the community, and it also affords one the opportunity to widen one's professional circle, to learn how a University administration operates, and to meet graduate students from other departments (one of the pitfalls of graduate education in history is that it can be a rather solitary endeavor)

Matthew Wind '99

I am currently a high school history teacher and coach at Leonia High School in Leonia, New Jersey.  After receiving my BA in History at Skidmore, I went to Monmouth University where I got my Masters in the Art of Teaching.  I worked part time as a permanent substitute for Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest (my old high school) before being hired for a maternity leave position at NV.  After two years there, I moved on to Leonia High School where I am in my sixth year.  Subjects I teach include World Civilizations, United States History One, United States History Two, and I also developed two electives and they are Contemporary America and Ethics in Our Society.  Aside from teaching I also coach several sports.  I started with football and baseball at NV before getting involved in football and boys tennis at Leonia.  I currently am the head boys tennis coach and an assistant for the girls tennis team.  Obviously history has always been and will continue to be an important part of my life and I am very grateful for the wide variety of courses and great professors I encountered at Skidmore College.  One last thing I also wanted to mention that the great uses of technology that I learned at Skidmore have made a major impact in my teaching profession and utilizing this knowledge I have been working with Leonia High School to incorporate these technologies into the classroom.