Skip to Content

The Study of History: A Path to the Present, A Path to Change

Nick Squires (History, ’17) has been awarded a General University Scholarship to help support his post-graduate work in the College of Education.

The Study of History: A Path to the Present, A Path to Change

The study of history is often negatively characterized as the memorization of boring
dates, and seemingly useless facts—with practically no real world application. I find our
complex and dynamic historical past incredibly fascinating and relevant for exactly the opposite
of those assumptions. I grew up in Crescent City California, a small coastal town on the
California-Oregon border with a rich, vibrant, and pioneering nineteenth century past. Ironically,
this is a history that is rarely celebrated or taught in school. In particular, the stories of local
indigenous and migrant populations of the area are rarely explored. These educational realities,
which I encountered in my own educational experiences in Crescent City, originally awakened
my drive to better understand the diversity of Pacific Northwest history. My experience as an
undergraduate history student at the University of Oregon has helped me develop and define both
my academic and professional outlook but it has also helped me in the realization that through
the study of history I can utilize those skills and that knowledge to create lasting social change.

My career as an undergraduate history student gave me the knowledge and the skills to
transition into the University of Oregon’s highly regarded Masters in Education program known
as UO Teach. My work and skills I developed as an undergraduate history student has been
recognized by University of Oregon with the award of a highly competitive General University
Scholarship to help facilitate my goals of furthering my post graduate work in the UO Teach
program. With the mentorship of both the history and education departments here at the
university, I am confident that I will be able to become a successful social science instructor at
the secondary level. My aim is to create a more well-rounded, inclusive, and culturally diverse
educational experience for our children here in Oregon. Our state, not unlike our nation, is an
amalgamation of diverse people with equally diverse and dynamic cultures and histories. The
recognition and appreciation of their continued contribution in helping shape our nation through
dedicated and diligent learning techniques and outcomes is an area sorely lacking in our public
school system. This goal and my ability to achieve it would not be possible without the
instruction, empowerment, and inspiration provided to me by the world class, caring, dedicated,
and diligent professors and staff at the University of Oregon history department.