Featured Alumni

Courtney Wiersema

Courtney WiersemaDegree/Year: B.A., History, 2009
Graduate school: University of Notre Dame

I did not begin college intending to get my Ph.D. in history. I chose a history major to prepare me for law school. During my third year at Bradley, however, I received a SHEAR/Mellon fellowship that allowed me to spend three weeks doing historical research in Philadelphia. I fell in love with the process of researching and writing and decided to pursue a graduate degree. When I complete my Ph.D. program, I would love to teach classes in American history and environmental history at a small college and, hopefully, continue my research.

Each day in graduate school, I apply the knowledge and skills I developed at Bradley. The process of completing a senior thesis, for example, made me grapple with the same challenges that professional historians face as they research and publish. The project proved to be a great primer for graduate school.

The support I received from Bradley’s faculty did not end with graduation. My adviser still provides plenty of advice and encouragement via email. Her commitment to her students is inspiring, and I hope to repay the favor someday when I teach students of my own.