Alumni Profiles

The history experience

For more about the value of a history education, read what our alumni have to say.

Taygan Byrnes

Taygan Byrns

Since graduating in spring 2016 with a B.A. in history, Taygan began working on her M.A. degree in museum studies at the University of Oklahoma. Currently, she is working full-time as a warehouse/production manager for a promotional products company, which plays into her museum warehouse/collections experience. Her hope after graduation is to find a position with a museum as either a curator or museum registrar.

William G. Copren

Bill Copren

William received his B.S. in education with a major in history and a minor in mathematics in 1970, and received his M.A. in history in 1975. After graduation, he worked as an appraiser in the Sierra County Assessor's Office. Less than two years later, he was appointed Assessor and then went on to win eight elections as Assessor until he retired after 30 years. According to William, "The work of a property appraiser and in the Assessor's Office is based on two things-mathematics and history. My degrees were very specific to this job and I enjoyed the work every day for 30 years."

Andrew Denning

Andrew Denning

Andrew earned a B.A. in history in 2005, with minors in French and geography. He went on to receive his M.A. (2007) and Ph.D. (2011) from the University of California, Davis. Since fall 2015, he has been working as an Assistant Professor of Modern European History at the University of Kansas. Andrew says, "As an alumnus and a current faculty member in the Liberal Arts, I would encourage students to follow their intellectual passions. It is tempting, particularly when siblings and friends are training to become computer programmers or civil engineers, to think of college as vocational training. Very few Liberal Arts majors find jobs in their field of training (e.g., most Anthropology majors don't become anthropologists), but this is a feature, not a bug. Liberal Arts majors excel at the skills all employers desire: sifting through information, contextualizing claims, crafting narratives and arguments from disparate and often conflicting sources and communicating effectively in written and oral form. Liberal Arts majors train not for their first job out of college, but develop a set of skills that serve them for a lifetime, as employees and as citizens."

Brett Hartley

Brett Hartley

Brett graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, in 2016. He received his Bachelor's Degree in history, with a minor in cultural anthropology. After graduation, he found a job as a park aid for Lake Tahoe Nevada State Parks. After a summer in Tahoe, he applied for a ranger position at Valley of Fire State Park in southern Nevada. One of the prerequisites for the position was the completion of a four-year degree in certain fields of study (history being one of them). Brett said he was very excited when he was offered the position because he knew the park had abundant historical elements, such as the petroglyphs that can be found around the park which were chiseled by Anasazi people thousands of years ago. There are also petrified logs, old movie sets and Civilian Conservation Corps stone cabins within the park. Brett will eventually be a Law Enforcement Ranger, however, he will still have the opportunity to plan out interpretive programs for the visitors. Brett said, "Overall, I am very excited that I have found a career that will allow me to utilize my historical training, while feeding my other passion, the outdoors."