Aaron Anderson: My Thoughts on History at Southern Miss

My participation in the graduate program in history at USM began with a desire to pursue a professional career as a scholar and academic in American history, and my experience here in the Ph.D. program has been fantastic. I wanted to teach history at the college level, research and write in the field, and participate fully as a member of the historical profession, and the preparation I received from the faculty at USM has been first rate.

After completing a M.A. degree in History from California State University and writing a thesis on the rise of the postbellum merchant class in Natchez, Mississippi – the epicenter of the American "Cotton Kingdom" – I wanted to continue my research and attend a Ph.D program that was strong in Southern history, had top scholars in the field, and was adjacent to the original primary sources in Mississippi and Louisiana. The program at USM more than met the requirements I sought, offered a very competitive Assistantship Program, and the Southern history faculty was stellar; Drs. William K. Scarborough, Bradley G. Bond, Louis Kyriakoudes, and Pamela Tyler are all nationally recognized scholars in the field and incredibly helpful, always available and willing to render personal assistance and mentoring.

The atmosphere at the USM History Department is friendly, collegial, and small enough to provide a close relationship among faculty and students, while large enough to attract top faculty and upcoming scholars. The office staff is always helpful, while the facilities at both the department and university itself are modern and first rate – while still intimate and endued with a sense of history and "southern" charm.

Aaron Anderson, PhD Candidate