Ben Witt

“I have had a career in public service that began in federal law enforcement and I am now working in higher education. Through it all, my history degree from GVSU has helped me to better understand how to connect lots of different information and stakeholders to be a more productive, capable team member. I credit the amazing faculty in our history department for helping me to always have a better sense of place.” – Ben Witt, ’02

Development Officer, College of Business
California State University, Chico

"Two days after I graduated in December 2016 with my history degree from Grand Valley, I shipped out to Air Force Basic Military Training. Now, I work as a photojournalist at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. My history background has helped me to succeed in journalism by strengthening both my writing and research-gathering skills," -Tara Stetler '16

Tara Stetler

Scott St. Louis

"Becoming a history major at Grand Valley State University was the best decision I made for my undergraduate education. The years I spent working closely with the department’s highly knowledgeable and accessible faculty have made my future more promising, my worldview more nuanced, and my bookshelf more crowded! I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. Liberal education is a personally transformative experience in so many ways, and the history major is a perfect opportunity for rising to the challenge of becoming a serious thinker, a productive worker, a capable leader, and an active community member.

In other words, my experiences as a history major empowered me to cultivate a wide variety of skills. These skills include not just the ability to carry out extensive research and writing, but also a comfort with public speaking and networking, technology, qualitative and quantitative data analysis, and so much else. The history major has provided me with an intellectual self-confidence that will benefit me in professional and personal contexts for the rest of my life," -Scott St. Louis 

"I would not be the scholar, educator, or professional I am today without the support and challenge of the amazing faculty teaching in the history program.  They have inspired my career as a disruptor of inequity and provided me with the skills necessary to be a critical educator.  The coursework assisted in being able to be successful in all stages of my professional career, whether it was during my time with the Michigan Department of Education as a Higher Education Consultant, as a Director of Accreditation and Assistant Professor at Madonna University, or now as the Director of the Center for Educator Preparation and Chair of the Education Unit at the University of Michigan-Flint.  In addition to my professional career, I have found the skills and knowledge learned in this program to be helpful throughout my academic career, especially as I work on completing my PhD in which I am researching the impact of whiteness on pre-service educators,"-Thomn Bell

Kristen DeHaan

Kristen DeHaan - GV History Grad is the New Director of Programs & Outreach at North Berrien Historical Museum 

Kristen DeHaan has joined the staff of the North Berrien Historical Museum as director of programs and outreach.  DeHaan graduated from Grand Valley State University with honors, receiving bachelor’s degrees in History and Spanish in 2013. After college, she spent two years teaching English in Spain.  The North Berrien museum job was perfect for DeHaan, as it allows her to use her history degree.“This area has a very interesting history and such welcoming people,” she said. “I’m enjoying the area. All of the people I’ve met have been very welcoming.” 

Hillery York

Distinguished Alumna-In-Residence

Hillery York returned to GVSU October 22-23, 2015 as a Distinguished Alumna-In-Residence. Hillery graduated from GVSU with a B.A. in History and a minor in Archeology in 2012. She went on to earn her MA in Museum Studies from George Washington University in Washington D.C.  Hillery is currently the Collections Manager of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. 

Click here to find out more about the sort of work Hillery does 

See Hillery discuss her role in a Smithsonian digitization project. 

Aspiring Teachers