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History and Political Science

Student Profiles

Our history students are active members of the Saint Xavier community. Check out some of our student profiles below to see how they see the connection between their passion for history, their careers and their lives at Saint Xavier.

Tony Bara, History Education, Class of 2012

Tony BaraHi! I am a senior History Secondary Education major who is also pursuing a business minor at Saint Xavier University. I commute forty minutes one way to arrive on campus, so I try to accomplish as much as I can once here. Since freshman year I have been a part of the Honors Program and am currently working on my senior project. I have also written for Saint Xavier's student newspaper, The Xavierite, since sophomore year and am now its editor in chief.

History has fascinated me for years. I first became interested as a young child visiting my family in Poland, a beautiful country filled with old castles, churches, and towns. I remember walking in the ruins of a long-destroyed castle once. It was overgrown with foliage, perched on a steep hill overlooking a forest below. As I walked through the rubble, watching my step so as not to fall into the exposed dungeons beneath, I reflected on who had walked here before me. What story did this place have to tell?

Now, years later, I am doing my senior project on none other then Polish immigrants in Chicago and how they formed a national identity here. Clearly, my own past has influenced what I study in the past.

Aside from academic work, I have found a perfect environment to practice my historical skills at The Xavierite. I have discovered that journalists apply the same research and critical thinking skills that historians use to study the past in order to understand the present. As editor in chief, I hope to foster these skills in my entire staff in order to make our student newspaper stronger than ever before.

After graduating, I intend to become a history teacher in order to pass my knowledge on to others. I also desire to attend graduate school someday to become a true professional in my field.

Trumaine Mitchell, History, Class of 2012

Trumaine MitchellI am a senior in the History and Political Science Department here at Saint Xavier University since Fall 2010 and I wanted to share a few facts about myself and what the department has to offer.

Being a history major here at SXU is worthwhile because you are able to learn about history in a number of interesting ways. One of my best experiences as a history major was taking History 200, where I learned about how historians go to different libraries and archives to do research and how they publish their research in scholarly publications. I also saw a documentary about Stephen A. Douglass that was made by SXU's Illinois History Fall 2011 class. These were great experiences for me because they showed me the varied and innovative ways that the department approaches the field of history.

When I'm not in the classroom, I enjoy watching movies, reading books, attending lectures, and visiting different libraries and museums in Chicago. I am also a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, where I participate in service projects when I get a chance. I try to apply what I have learned in my history classes to different activities outside of the classroom. For example, I am working with a few other students to start a history club. The club will focus on accessing the historical accuracy of films, books, and historical documentaries. I also recently completed an internship at the National Archives in Chicago, where I learned about how archivists carry out preservation and reference work.

In terms of my aspirations, I hope to become an African American Studies professor. My interest in African American Studies grew out of a lecture I gave in April 2012, where I looked at how hip hop culture affects the African American community. I'm currently applying for Northwestern University's Ph.D. program in African American Studies. My secondary choices for graduate school include DePaul University, Loyola University, and the University of Chicago.

I encourage all students who are undecided on a major to consider entering a degree program in the SXU History and Political Science Department. It is a challenging yet rewarding experience that will aid your growth as a college student and prepare you for a career in the professional world.

Lucas Ruebe, History Education, Class of 2013

Lucas RuebeI will be graduating in Fall 2013 with a B.A. in History/Secondary Education, in addition to being certified to teach at the Junior High level in both History and Biology. Saint Xavier has truly broadened my horizons on both an academic and personal level. The people that I have met over my career here have allowed me to construct a network of experiences that expands far beyond the small neighborhood on the Southside of Chicago where I was born and raised. I have met people from all walks of life and have grown as a person because of it.

My academic pursuits at Saint Xavier have sharpened my mind on many levels, and I am proud of the growth I have achieved. One of my accomplishments that I am most proud of is a movie that I helped produce about the life of Stephen A. Douglas. It was a huge undertaking that was only successful due to long hours of dedicated work by our team. The movie was an incorporation of many disciplines and it was amazing to see how all the facets fit together to form something that was pretty spectacular.

I have always loved History and hope to inspire my students with the passion that I feel. My mission is to show how relevant History is in our daily lives. History is a lot like music. Every fact and date is like a note, and while they don't mean much on their own, when taken together they become something beautiful. It is this interconnectedness that I want to illuminate. I hope to connect students to the past in order to better their future.