teaching Archives - Kendall College of Arts and Sciences

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History alumni near and far

From student to teacher 

head and shoulders photo of a young man with short hair, glasses and a black t-shirt
John Turner (BA ’18)

Class of 2018 graduate John Turner remembers playing with his cousins on The University of Tulsa campus as a child because his grandparents lived only a few blocks away. “As a kid, I always dreamed of being able to call myself a TU grad,” Turner remarked. Now, he is not only a graduate of TU’s history program, but Turner went on to earn a master’s degree in American Studies from Northeastern State University while teaching full time at Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences (TSAS). 

As a first-generation college student, Turner recognizes how important his peers at TU were to his success: “I had to remind myself that I belonged in the room, that I was worthy of an education. I was surrounded by peers who welcomed me and encouraged me.”  

At TSAS, Turner teaches classes on Native American and world history. He credits the professors at TU for inspiring him to give back to his students. “I will never forget the true dedication of teachers who showed up every day willing to pour into their students,” noted Turner. “It is hard to express in words how humbled I am to reflect on the diligence of those educators.”  

Turner also emphasizes the value of getting a liberal arts degree to his profession: “Because of my diverse liberal arts education, I have felt more prepared for the classroom. Being able to bounce from one topic to another and provide insight is a credit to a well-rounded humanities approach.”  

From Tulsa to London to New York 

Career flexibility has been the hallmark of Hutton Person’s life since graduating from TU in 2016.  

woman in a red dress wearing a face mask standing beside a Renaissance painting of a man
Hutton Person (BA ’16) standing next to Botticelli’s “Portrait of a Young Man”

Person majored in history and minored in art history, a combination which secured her a spot in the M.A. program at Christie’s auction house in London. After completing her degree in fine and decorative arts there, she landed a position at Sotheby’s auction house in New York City, where she served as a sale coordinator in the Old Master Paintings department. In this capacity, Person oversaw auctions for three global departments and approximately $217 million worth of art, including the sale of Sandro Botticelli’s Portrait of a Young Man and a rediscovered drawing from the Triumphs of Caesar series by Andrea Mantegna. 

Although she loved her time at Christie’s and Sotheby’s, Person recognized that she did not want a long-term career in the auctions world. She therefore recently joined a New York City private equity firm as an investor relations and marketing advisor.  

Person identifies her history major and the liberal arts foundation that TU provides as keys to her ability to switch jobs and careers. “I developed critical and creative thinking, research, and communication skills, all of which are applicable and important regardless of job or industry,” she noted. In fact, Person believes that her untraditional background has helped her advance in the finance industry: “Being a history major does not confine you to a limited number of professions. Today, more than ever, managers are looking for employees who do not necessarily match the job description verbatim but candidates who bring a unique skillset or alternate perspective to the larger team and company.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q&A with English Alumnus: Zachary Harvat

Zachary Harvat

Zachary Harvat (BA ’13) 

Degree(s) and graduation year: 

ZH: I graduated in 2013 and I double majored in English and women’s and gender studies. 

Overview of career after graduation and current position 

ZH: I applied for graduate school during my senior year at TU and them completed my master’s and Ph.D. work at Ohio State University. I was working on my degrees, taking classes and teaching English classes every semester, which I really loved. I finished my Ph.D. in 2019 and started teaching at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., where I currently teach English at the high school level.  

As I was finishing up my dissertation, I began thinking seriously about teaching at the high school level. I started volunteering as a tutor and shadowing at local schools to get a feel for the field. I sent out applications to schools all over the country and got an interview at Sidwell and have been loving it ever since 

What if don’t want to teach? 

ZH: Even if you aren’t going to teach English, a degree in English prepares you for a variety of industries because it’s so dynamic. English doesn’t prepare you for one specific career trajectory, which is exciting because it opens many avenues and gives you a set of skills that you can take into different fields. It also makes you more open-minded. Just hearing different people talk about and react to topics during class discussion presents you with different perspectives and world views in a way that you might not get so openly in other disciplines. 

Zachary Harvat on campus

What would you say to someone who is apprehensive about majoring in English? 

ZH: The first worry usually deals with money, right? There are studies out there that show people with an English degree earn less in the first few years of employment than people with other degrees, but there are other studies that show over the course of a career, English-degree holders catch up to people in other fields who maybe start out with more but remain consistent over time. So, from a financial perspective, those gaps end up being filled.  

The other fear usually deals with English not being tied to a specific career path. But that is actually a strength. If you major in something that seems useful right now, who knows what the world is going to be like in 10, 20, 40 years? That degree might be less relevant. English is timeless and gives you a set of skills that are going to be useful no matter what field you go into. Bosses everywhere need people who can communicate well, who can think critically, who can participate and who respect others.  

Zachary Harvat at TU

Highlight from college:  

ZH: I had such a great experience at TU. I met a lot of my best friends there. In my junior year, Sean Latham offered a course on video games. He was teaching it for the first time, and it showed me just how applicable everything I learned in my English classes was. ended up helping one of my friends create a video game studies course at Ohio State in the English department during graduate school.

 


Where might you go with a degree in English from TU? Learn more today.