The Department of History’s Lunch, Learn, & Link Series, organized by Dr. Fang Yu Hu, provides opportunities throughout the semester for students to engage with history beyond the classroom.

Events include informal lunches with faculty and students, graduate school workshops, and panels featuring professionals whose experiences exemplify the variety of careers that a degree in history make possible.

Check out highlights from the 2019 career panels below.

Spring 2019 Career Panel (Feb. 27, 2019)

The spring panel featured the following three speakers, who provided excellent insight into the value and versatility of a history degree.  Highlights from their comments and pictures from the event appear below.



Chris Barr – Park Ranger, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

History is a coveted degree by employers. Being a history major isn’t about job training; it’s about life training. You’re being trained how to think, how to be a citizen, how to evaluate the world around you, how to be a better person. History is simply the study of people, and you’re going to do that in any job that’s out there.


Sara Peters – Director, Center for Women and Gender Equity, UTC

You can’t do social justice work without understanding history. Social justice work is exhausting, so understanding the broad sweep of history, that things will move on, helps with doing this work. Historians are uniquely situated to talk about intent versus impact, which is key in social justice work.

Selling a history degree to employers is about saying, I’m someone who follows my passion. People who major in history are passionate about what they do, they’re not doing things just for financial rewards. You’re doing it because you care.

History is about making connections, how one thing relates to another, and those are essential skills that I can do better because I have a history degree.

Randall Van Dolson – Manager, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department

Getting a history degree is one of the best choices I ever made. I have no doubt that my history background gave me an edge. Employers are looking for applicants to be more well-rounded.  My time at UTC was really well spent. It gave me skills in analysis and in understanding cause and effect.


Fall 2019 Career Panel (Sep. 11, 2019)

The fall panel featured the following three speakers, who spoke with students about the opportunities available to history graduates, and who focused on several themes that sum up the value of the history degree in their experience.  Each speaker’s themes, along with pictures from the event, appear below.

Theresa Blackman – Pre-Health Professions Advisor, Center for Academic Support and Advisement, UTC

Theresa discussed how her history degree taught her the following:

  • Asking questions, which promote critical-thinking skills and an understanding of the importance of context
  • Thinking on one’s feet, which teaches students how to come up with solutions to problems and how to articulate a persuasive argument
  • Communication and the ability to explain the value of studying history
  • Research skills, including how to uncover and evaluate information

David Steele Director of Civic Engagement and Assistant Professor of Practice, UTC

David Steele summed up the value of the history degree as imparting him with an understanding of context, story-telling, competence, and connection.

Stephen Taylor – Vice President, Commercial Banking, First Tennessee Bank, and Adjunct Instructor, UTC History

Steve Taylor emphasized that he gained the following from his history degree:

  • Communication and the related “soft” skills that teach graduates how to talk to clients
  • Special skills unique to the history degree that make a history graduate stand out on the job market

Finally, moderator Kira Robison summarized the overall themes of the panel as curiosity and communication.

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