The senior seminar was the most challenging and rewarding aspect of the program. We had two professors, Fr. Massa and Fr. Grimes, who led extremely engaging discussions which required us to critically analyze issues and draw out “original thought.” The opportunity to exercise those skills was the true benefit of the program.
3) What did you write your thesis on? How did you get interested in that topic?
I wrote to investigate the degree to which Union General William T. Sherman’s “March to the Sea” during the Civil War fit a “total war” paradigm (which is typically characterized, in part, by an absence of rules or restraint in the conception and execution of military campaigns). As an NROTC Midshipman and student of military history, I considered it important that, when looking back on successful military campaigns to guide our conduct of operations today, we need to be clear on what it is we are being taught.
4) How did American studies prepare you for your career in Law?
Quite simply, I first learned the mechanics of critical analysis, which I use now on a daily basis, in the American Studies Program. Moreover, the program’s interdisciplinary approach is a great exercise for learning how to evaluate a problem from multiple angles, so as to consider the perspective, context and agenda of sources of information.
5) Do you have any advice for current American Studies students?
Find what you enjoy doing and do it well. If you are happy in your career and your name is associated with quality work, you will be successful in whatever line of work you choose. I guarantee it.