Alumni Profiles

What Do Alumni Have to Say About Studying History at SUNY Plattsburgh?

Sarah Jensen, Class of ’05

Photo of Sarah Jensen

  • B.A. in History
  • Actor

History and the Footlights

“My goal with my history degree was, and is, to get my masters in teaching and become a high school social studies teacher and an athletics coach.

“But my acting career uses my history degree in various ways. I have great confidence in speaking in front of people, thanks to the presentations I gave in my classes. At the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, I have to write numerous papers, that I am comfortable writing because of my research and writing education. I research a great deal on the Internet, and I write documents, including letters, and mission statements. I also help in the creative process of website production.

“Though I am not currently continuing my studies in history, or using my knowledge of history everyday, the important life/communication skills that my history professors taught me are being used every day.” Read more about Sarah Jensen.


Paul Tammany, Class of ’05

Photo of Paul Tammany

  • B.A. in Adolescence History Education 7-12

I’ve Learned That I Have the Ability to Succeed

“I have been out of college for a little bit over a year and a half and I realize how far I have come due to the history major at SUNY Plattsburgh and the history faculty that I worked with to attain this degree.

“One of the best contributions I got from this program and the faculty was a sense of ’self.’ I learned to have confidence in my own abilities and have faith in myself to know that I can succeed in whatever task I focus upon.

“I found the history department to be a place of awe-inspiring good nature and warmth.” Read more about Paul Tammany.


Dustin Relation, Class of ’07

  • B.A./M.S.T. in History Education
  • Altona Educator

This Program Sparked My Interest in History

“In high school I found history interesting, but somewhat lacking. After taking courses at SUNY Plattsburgh I have realized that history can be much more interesting, especially if you take a more popular culture/social look. I feel that this ’new look’ will not only interest high school students, but will hopefully help them become more prepared for their future exams and careers. I certainly cannot wait to get into the classroom and try out all of my new ideas!

“The benefits of this program are monumental, and the skills learned through the history courses I have taken are indispensable. From discussing the natives of Haida Gwaii, to researching the Volkswagen Beetle, my history professors have greatly increased my passion for history.” Read more about Dustin Relation.


Jaclyne Demarse-Marcil, Class of ’06

  • B.A. in History and Latin American (dual major)

My History Classes Helped Me Excel in My Internship

“Historians don’t often have the opportunity to create primary sources. Usually, creating your own sources is frowned upon for various academic reasons - but that’s exactly what my history major prepared me for: a State Department internship in which I was participating in the researching, writing and editing primary sources. The ability to analyze documents, research topics and present information was something I felt confident that I could do, as a result of my work in history classes.” Read more about Jaclyne Demarse-Marcil.


Tommy McGowen, Class of ’06

Photo of Tommy McGowen at the Grand Canyon

  • B.A in History, Minor in Psychology
  • Graduate Study at St. Lawrence University in Teaching

The Professors Helped Me Develop Strong Communication Skills

“The faculty offers more than a lecture and office hours. They also connect with students and present a welcoming invitation into research.

“The many papers and projects I completed have helped me to develop stronger communication skills, and a greater sense of confidence. The capstone of the program, a semester long research project, left me feeling accomplished and proud of my academic success. Several history classes also directed me towards choosing my minor in psychology.” Read more about Tommy McGowen.


More Alumni Stories

Marie Mitchell '04: "The Friendships I've Made Here Are Rewarding"

Katie Morris '04: "Inspiring Classes Gave Me the Confidence to Become a Teacher"

Tim Sarrantonio '04: "Studying the Past Changed My Outlook on Life"

Nick Favicchio '04: "This is a Stepping Stone towards a Much Richer Life"

Trish Melton '03: "I Didn't Learn What to Think, But How to Think"

Chris Davies '03: "Supportive Faculty Helped Me Reach My Goals"

Matt Bamberger '03: "Studying History Helped Me Gain a Broad Perspective on Our World"

Neil Buffett '01: "The History Program Has Been Inspirational"

James Fennessey '99: The Senior Project Started His Academic Career

Stacey Pratt '98: A Strong Foundation in History

Tommy Szarka '98: "SUNY Plattsburgh Helped Broaden My Horizons and Gave Me the Freedom to Grow"

James Parillo '94: "My Internship Prepared Me for My Career in History"

Blake Harrison '92: "I Discovered That History Is More Than Just Memorizing Facts"

Sarah Swedberg '92: "My Study of History Encouraged a Life of Inquiry"

David Schmitz '78: A B.A. in History Led to a Distinguished Career

David Nicandri '70: A Life in Public History

Are you a Plattsburgh Alum?

The SUNY Plattsburgh History Department is very interested in hearing from our Plattsburgh alumni. Please contact us and tell us of your movements and achievements. Please call, write a letter, or send an e-mail to:

Gary Kroll
Phone: (518) 564-2738

History Department
SUNY Plattsburgh
101 Broad St.
Plattsburgh, NY 12901