of an abundance of qualified applicants and a shortage of positions,
students graduating with advanced degrees in history do not typically
land tenure-track teaching jobs at the university or college level
right off the bat.
But a broad-based
curriculum at The University of Southern Mississippi that concentrates
on many areas of American history has helped two recent graduate
students do just that.
who received his Ph.D. from Southern Miss this year, accepted a
tenure-track job at the University of South Carolina at Aiken after
completing his doctoral dissertation on Italian Americans and the
fascist experience in the United States from 1922-1941.
who also received his Ph.D. at Southern Miss this year, accepted
a tenure-track job at Limestone College, a private liberal arts
institution in South Carolina, after finishing his doctoral dissertation
on women's organizations in antebellum New Orleans.
Dr. Greg O'Brien,
director of graduate studies for the history department, credits
Catino and Sarnoff's initial job success - in part - to the strength
of the program at Southern Miss.
colleges and universities don't consider someone right out of graduate
school for a tenure-track job unless they've got something very
valuable," Dr. O'Brien said. "We train our folks who are
getting their Ph.D. in many areas of American history, so that they
are able to teach a wide variety of subjects, from colonial history
of us who teach got our Ph.D. at other places and specialize in
particular areas of American history. But we expect our students
to be more broadly trained and more marketable to schools."
Two other students
who earned their master's degree received multiyear fellowships
to complete doctoral work at major research universities.
M.A. 2003, is attending Tulane University on a five-year fellowship
to obtain a Ph.D. in Latin American History, and Martin Loicano,
M.A. 2002, received a Sage Fellowship in 2003 from Cornell University
to fund five years of study towards completion of a Ph.D. in its
Asian Studies Program.
outstanding achievement by our graduate students is a credit to
the high quality of our faculty and their devotion to our graduate
program," O'Brien said. "We have one of the best history
graduate programs in the southeast, especially in southern and military
history, and several of our current students have received grants
and fellowships; others are already teaching at community colleges
throughout Mississippi and the southeast region."
Bolton, chair of the history department, said that "despite
a very tight job market, our Ph.D. graduates continue to find permanent
academic jobs. That speaks to the high quality of our program and
to the abilities of our graduate students."
More than 50
students are currently enrolled in a history graduate program at
Southern Miss, with an average of 11 students earning master's degrees
and two students receiving doctoral degrees every year. Further
information about Southern Miss history programs can be found on
the Web at http://www.usm.edu/history/ or by sending an e-mail message
to Dr. O'Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org.