Reaching to the Past: My UACCM Story

man in front of library books

History Instructor Brian Wilson has a passion for studying the past and shares how pursuing an education in history makes one a better critical thinker and storyteller. 

How did you get into teaching history?
Virtually my entire life I have had an interest in what I would now call historical inquiry. I have an inquisitive mind and have always been interested in past peoples, places, things and ideas. It wasn’t until I was a sophomore in high school that I had a history teacher who I was inspired by and connected with. After that I was certainly more interested in history, but I was not confident in committing to pursuing it as a career goal until 2009. Even when I started pursuing my bachelor of the arts in history, it was met with mixed support from my family and friends. I commonly heard the statement “what are you going to do with a history degree.” Me typing out this response shows that hard work and pursuit of what you are passionate in can lead to great rewards.

What are your special interests in history and why?
Some of my favorite topics to learn about and lecture on are the ancient world and the French Revolution. I have a fondness for these topics, as I was able to take them both as individual classes with the same professor. A Seminar in Ancient Egypt and the French Revolution and Era of Napoleon. They were two of the best classes I took during all my undergraduate studies and they were with one of the most inspiring professors I have ever had. I took Professor David Krueger for 15 total hours of class while attending Arkansas Tech University. He was one of the most knowledgeable and inspiring lecturers and storytellers that I have ever had the pleasure of learning from. He was and continues to be a true inspiration to me and his lessons and stories live on through my classes.

What lessons do you personally get from studying history?
I am always personally growing from my study of history. When I learn about different cultures and belief systems, it makes me empathetic towards more groups of people. Studying history is also very humbling at times. The task requires that you undertake the study some of the greatest aspects from the history of civilization, but at the same time it always requires the knowledge and analysis of some of the worst events and atrocities in the known record.  

As an active faculty member who sponsors Model UN, what’s your favorite thing about getting students involved?
It is an honor and a privilege to get to be a part of their journey and contribute in some small way to their success. Seeing students getting involved in college life is a wonderful and inspiring thing to be a part of.

What are the skills that today’s UACCM graduates need in order to succeed in the history field?
Getting a degree in history will give you a diverse background. Writing and research are two main tenants that I personally feel are important for all historians to possess. I can’t state the value in the ability to be able to question things and think critically enough. 

What’s your favorite thing about being in the UACCM faculty?
My favorite thing about being a faculty member at UACCM is being in the classroom and working with my students.

Any advice to UACCM students?
Go to class! If you are ever uncertain of anything at all, talk to your professor after class. Check blackboard daily and if there are ever any uncertainties, ask someone for help or clarification. This is the time of your life where you are exposed to many new ideas and are planting seeds that you will harvest later in life. Don’t get discouraged. There will be dark and difficult times throughout your college journey. I personally dropped out of college three times, yet I graduated with my master's degree in history with a 4.0 GPA. Keep moving forward. Those dark times will mean more to you later when you emerge on the other side with your degree and the skills that you will acquire on your journey. Don’t commit to just learning while you are here at UACCM or after you transfer. Commit to lifelong learning and you will reap continued rewards.

What’s your favorite part about being at the college?
By being here I am submersed in an environment where I am surrounded by learning. 


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