Recently, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) published a set of competencies or skills valued by employers:
- Critical thinking and problem solving
- Oral/written communication
- Information technology application
- Professionalism and work ethic.
The study of history at Blackburn provides students with the opportunity to develop all of these skills. Emphasis is placed on the critical understanding of texts, boiling down mountains of information into succinct essays, and articulating complex ideas in oral presentations. Problem solving, of course, begins by learning about the history of the problem, finding out what worked and what didn’t. While the subject matter may feature the past, students will use the latest tools and technology to examine all necessary historical information. Plus, this major gives students the opportunity to learn about how people became successful leaders. The other skills — teamwork, professionalism, work ethic — are developed in tandem with Blackburn’s unique student-managed work program.
Points of Distinction
The History Department offers a course — Topics in History — that is tailored to the students’ interests, including “World History through Film” (Fall 2017) and “The History of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States” (Fall 2019). Additional student-generated suggestions include: The Music of the 1960s, War in World History, and Technology in US History.
Senior Seminar: The Blackburn History Department takes great pride in its capstone course. Students choose a topic, present a research proposal, and write a paper based on primary and secondary sources. Topics for senior seminars have included political history, military history, media history, sports history, race, gender, and popular culture
In most of the history courses, students are required to do an analysis (both written and oral) of a movie dealing with some aspect of history.
Mueller Humanities Fellowship: History majors are eligible for funding to do research for the senior seminar.
The Mim Pride Historical Prize ($1,000) is awarded for best short essay (ten pages) on the history of Blackburn College. The essay must be based on primary sources and all Blackburn students are eligible.
Why this Major?
Whether covering American history and World history in general first-year courses or in upper-division courses, the history department endeavors to use the past to inform the present and future. A wide array of topic-oriented classes reflect the burning issues of the day: Environmental History to understand climate change, The History of Imperialism to frame the conflicts around the world , Women in World History to comprehend changing gender roles, and US History from 1945 to the Present to grasp the origins of the ongoing political crisis in American democracy.
The History Department offers a minor in history.
Students who work for the Diversity Office have the opportunity to research and do presentations on a variety of historical events as part of the series on heritage and history months. The same is true for those students who work for the school paper and for the college archives.
Activities & Events
The History Department works closely with the Diversity Office to promote the following events:
- Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
- Native American Heritage Month (November)
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 20th)
- Black History Month (February)
- Women’s History Month (March)
Clubs & Organizations
- The Black Student Union
- Film Club
Work Program Opportunities
- History Teaching Assistant
- The Diversity, Student Success and Inclusion Office
- College Library
- College Archives
- Journalist for The ‘Burnian – the oldest college newspaper in Illinois
- Disc Jockey with Blackburn’s radio station
Hot Job Outlooks
- Higher Education Administration
- Government Agencies
- Corporate Historian
- Public Relations & Marketing
Our history majors have gone on to law school, graduate school, and have worked in a variety of fields from crop insurance adjusters to sports journalists.
Dr. Long has traveled widely in Latin America, lived abroad for almost eight years, and speaks fluent Spanish. Though a specialist in Latin American history, Dr. Long has read widely in World history and in American history. He has developed an expertise in the history of the modern Middle East, the history of Modern Africa, and in the history of the environment.