jacob winton discovery day

Jacob Winton with fellow CAHS Ambassadors and Dr. Christine Sears, Department Chair

Photo Credit Jacob Winton

Welcome to the Department of History at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. We asked Jacob Winton, History major and CAHS Ambassador, a few questions about what it’s like to be a history major at UAH.

What is your favorite class that you have taken so far at UAH?

During my time at UAH, I have had the great opportunity to take several history classes that I have loved. However, my favorite would have to be Dr. Molly Johnson’s “Nazi Germany and the Holocaust” class (HY 485). Growing up, I always loved studying World War II every year in class, but it always seemed like the same material over and over again. I was excited to dive deeper into this era when I signed up for this class, and I was fascinated by learning more about Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. It is undoubtedly a heavy subject matter, but Dr. Johnson makes the course extremely interesting and engaging.

What do you want to do with History?

My goal is to be an Interpretive Ranger for the National Park Service. Part of this job means that I will be giving tours, hosting programs, greeting guests, and doing many other activities for a national park. My dream job would be to work at Gettysburg National Military Park.

What is your favorite historical period to study?

The two periods that I have enjoyed studying the most have been the Civil War and World War II. I also enjoyed learning about both of these throughout middle and high school, and my enjoyment of studying them grew even more. I have been able to study the Civil War in a few of my American history classes. Taking Dr. Johnson’s “Nazi Germany and the Holocaust” class helped put a new view on the typical studies of World War II that I had done in the past. It was fascinating and harrowing to learn more about the Nazis and Germany during the war.

How do you handle the workload required for the major? 

The thing that helps me keep organized the most is my planner. Honestly, freshman year, I did not think that I would need one and that I would be able to handle keeping up the due dates on my own. I quickly realized that I could not keep up. The other thing that works best for me is prioritizing the assignments I think will take the most time. I try to balance these assignments with ones that I can finish quickly; so that I am not focused on one project too long, and then I am too tired to do the other one afterward. The biggest thing is finding what works for you and helps you the most, especially once you get into 300 and 400 level history classes.

What opportunities have you been able to participate in with the history department? 

Last fall, I was able to participate in an archaeological dig on campus. We were attempting to find the blacksmith shop that was a part of the Avalon plantation, on which UAH was built. The dig was a unique opportunity that I did not expect to participate in before I came to UAH. Another great opportunity that I have had is developing relationships with the professors here by taking their classes and being an ambassador to the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. My relationships with professors and representing the college have presented me with valuable experiences that I would not trade for anything.

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An archaeological dig on campus

Photo Credit Jacob Winton

 Do you have more questions about History? Contact us at history@uah.edu or connect with our Ambassadors at cahs@uah.edu.

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Jacob Winton



Photo Credit Jennifer Clifton