Monday, November 24, 2014

Salaries in History, salaries in Political Science

Have you wondered about typical salary ranges for people with bachelor's degrees in history or political science? Graduates in these fields typically earn salaries ranging from $50,000 to $59,000, according to recent statistics.

As a recent story from the American Historical Association's blog indicates, college graduates with degrees in U.S. History earn the highest salaries among Humanities graduates, and also have higher earnings than graduates in many other fields. As the story notes,
Students who majored in U.S. history earned $57,000, as compared to $50,000 for other majors in history. The average salary for U.S. history majors was 18.7 percent higher than the average for all the humanities....U.S. history is also quite high relative to most of the other fields in the survey (especially in fields outside of the scientific, engineering, and business fields). [emphasis added]
The story in the AHA blog is based on data from a 2011 report by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University, entitled "What's It Worth: The Economic Value of College Majors." According to the report's analysis, the median salary associated with degrees in political science & government was $59,000/year; the median salary for those who hold degrees in international relations was $50,000/year. (This report includes a wealth of information about many degrees, not just history and political science.)

The salary information above reflects full-time, full-year salaries for people who hold terminal Bachelor's degrees (that is, no education beyond a B.A.). Graduates in these disciplinary fields end up working in a wide variety of occupations. For example, the top areas of employment for those earning degrees in history include management positions in business, sales positions, and education (see the chart, below).

For these fields (history and political science), as for other disciplines in humanities and social sciences, it is essential for students to recognize the valuable skills and knowledge they have acquired through education (like reading, textual analysis, critical thinking, synthesis of information, and writing) and to be able to see how those skills and knowledge can be applied in a variety of careers. Students in the liberal arts and sciences learn how to learn, and can be well-situated for an employment market for which change is a constant factor.

Completing additional graduate and professional training may generate a boost in income; consult the full report from the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University for more information. 

history majors occupations

Friday, November 14, 2014

History & Politics Speaker Series: Dr. Annamaria Orla-Bukowska

On November 8, approximately 80 people attended a lecture by Dr. Annamaria Orla-Bukowska on The Other Side of the Coin: The Righteous Among the Nations of the World. The event was co-sponsored by the History & Political Science Department and the Polish Arts Club of Buffalo.

Alfred Karney (President of the Polish Arts Club) welcomes the audience

Dr. Andrew Wise (Associate Prof. of History) introduces Dr. Orla-Bukowska

Members of the Buffalo community joined students, faculty, and staff for Dr. Orla-Bukowska's presentation on the heroic stories of non-Jews in Poland and elsewhere who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. These people have been named as “Righteous Among the Nations” by Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority).

Dr. Orla-Bukowska answers a question from the audience

Dr. Orla-Bukowska in discussion with guests after the lecture

Dr. Orla-Bukowska is a social anthropologist in the Institute of Sociology at the Jagiellonian  University in Krakow. Her specialization is Polish Christian-Polish Jewish relations in the 20th and 21st centuries. She was a 1999 Koerner Holocaust Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew & Jewish Studies, a 2004 Yad Vashem Fellow in Jerusalem, and a 2009 Skalny Center Fellow at the University of Rochester.

Click here for a full report of the event (including an interview with History & Political Science major Jordan Sieracki), which was published in the Am-Pol Eagle:
Photos courtesy of Roger Puchalski and Dr. Lisa Parshall

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Emily Kraft's Smithsonian internship

Emily Kraft is a junior History major and Public History minor who is interning at the Smithsonian Institution this semester through the Washington Internship Institute (WII). Emily was mentioned in a front-page story in The Washington Post on November 3, 2014. "A is for abacus, O is for outhouse seat," described the collection of educational artifacts that educator Richard Lodish is donating to the Smithsonian Institution. (Also see this NPR story.) Emily is assisting Smithsonian staff in sorting and cataloging these materials. 


In this guest blog post, Emily writes about what she has learned from the internship. She also explains how help from the Buffalo Chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the Daemen History & Political Science Department made her internship possible.

Emily Kraft at the Smithsonian Institution

By Emily Kraft

My interest in history and public history has led me into the field of museum studies. Last fall, in my sophomore year, I was introduced to the Washington Internship Institute (WII) by a friend and by my advisor, Dr. Penny Messinger. This program pushes students out of their comfort zones by helping them find internships in their desired field as they live in Washington, D.C. for three and a half months. I commute to Daemen and I had never been away from home for more than a week, so coming to D.C. was a giant step for me. With the help of the History and Political Science Department I was determined to get out of my personal comfort zone and become an independent and professional young woman. I could not believe I was about to do this, but I was ready to embark on this journey in my life.

Richard Lodish shows educational artifcacts, photo from The Washington Post

Help from the AAUW made my internship possible 

I applied to the WII and got accepted in early November 2013. When I got my acceptance email I knew everything was real and that August could not come fast enough. As the rest of the semester went on, I started to think about how I would be able to fund this. I asked Dr. Messinger for suggestions for scholarships or grants and she recommended the Buffalo Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Chamberlain Loan and Grant award. I was not personally familiar with this award but she told me more about it and also introduced me to Judy Weidemann, an alumna of Daemen, who is an active member of the AAUW who was familiar with the Chamberlain Loan committee. 

I met Ms. Weidemann when I attended the Distinguished Alumni Award Dinner last fall. She was the most kind, compassionate and friendly lady when I talked to her about my future plans in Washington. She told me more about the Chamberlain Loan program and offered to help guide me through the process. I applied, and in late January, I learned that the committee was interested in my application and wanted to do a short interview. I went to a local library and sat around a table with about eight other women who each asked me questions about the program, my need for the money and my future plans/goals. A few months later I received an email of notification that I had received a thousand dollar loan and a grant from AAUW. I was grateful that they picked me from among many other applicants.

The AAUW has not only given me a sizeable award, but the award gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams in Washington, D.C. I have them to thank for being so generous and giving me confidence to take this leap of faith.

Emily Kraft

The WII 

When spring semester started, I began the process of continuing with my application for WII. I met often with Lamark Shaw in the Career Services Office, as well as other staff members. Jason Patrie was my WII advisor and helped me to decide where I wanted to intern. In early summer I sent out applications to the National Museum of American History, the Newseum, the International Spy Museum, Crime and Punishment, and several other museums in Old Town Alexandria. At the end of July, I started to get nervous because I hadn’t heard back from most places. One day I got a message on my phone from Ms. Debbie Schaefer-Jacobs, curator of the Division of Home and Community Life at the Smithsonian. She was interested in the skills I described on my application and said she would like to have me as an intern. This was my number one dream internship because I have always loved the Smithsonian. It was perfect for a person who loves museums. I was so proud of myself that I achieved something so prestigious.

Emily at work, sorting artifacts from the Lodish collection (photo courtesy Emily Kraft)

My work at the Smithsonian

Today, I am about halfway through my internship and working on accessioning a large school collection of about 900 items. The donor, Dr. Richard Lodish, was the headmaster for thirty years at Sidwell Friends School in Bethesda, MD. His collection includes hornbooks, primers, school desks, patriotic school bells and pencil boxes, alphabet boards, quilts, samplers, photographs and many more items. All the items are being stored in his home in Bethesda. It is my job to prepare the packing list for each visit along with the boxes, envelopes and bubble wrap needed to properly pack the items. My supervisor and I take weekly trips to his house for a few hours and use our packing list to find the items we need to take for that time. Dr. Lodish has been collecting these items for about forty years and he is very enthusiastic about the donation. He helps us look for the items on our list and take the packed boxes to our car.

Once back at the museum, we must unload everything onto carts at the loading dock. Other staff members help bring the artifacts up to our special storage space that I usually work in. After getting the objects safely upstairs, it is my job to take them off the cart and unpack them for temporary storage. I package each item with its own label so they can be easily identified for keeping track of them. Smaller items get put into special, acid-free boxes; prints or small samplers get put into acid free-folders; and other items either get put in boxes or put on bubble wrap. All items are covered in acid-free tissue and then a large piece of thick plastic.

What the internship has meant to me

Coming to Washington D.C. has been the most beneficial experience for me because it has allowed me to meet so many new people, to network, and to think about my future. At home I feel very disconnected from the outside world and D.C. seems far away. Surrounding myself in the culture of the city has allowed me to explore my interests and options. I have thought a lot about graduate school and more internships or studying abroad because I am much more motivated to take advantage of everything going on. I now have a few ideas for possible career options and I understand more about museums and living on my own in general. The Smithsonian is such an intricate institution with many offices and staff to talk to and learn from.

Moving forward, I am looking at graduate programs that have a concentration in museum studies. I am interested in archaeology, museum education, curation and archaeological survey.   

**You can learn more about Daemen's public history minor by contacting Dr. Penny Messinger; read about Daemen's affiliation with the Washington Internship Institute here or contact Lamark Shaw at Daemen's Career Services office.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

H&G Club & PLSA take to the road

The History & Government Club and Pre-Law Student Association are clubs on the move!

Members of the H&G Club and the Pre-Law Student Association check out the "Mummies" exhibit at the Buffalo Museum of Science in October 2014

This fall, the clubs have undertaken several field trips into the Western New York community. Below are some photographs from three of this fall's voyages into the local community: the "Trial of the Century" event in September (a film reenactment of Leon Czolgosz's trial for assassinating President William McKinley); a visit to the "Mummies of the World" exhibit at the Buffalo Museum of Science (early October), and a trip to Letchworth State Park on October 24.

Club members are planning more activities for the fall--contact H&G Club officers (President Carla Hernandez, Vice President Zahra Nayyeri, Secretary-Treasurer Jessica Mark, and PR Coordinator Nigel Haynes) or PLSA officers (President Jordan Sieracki, Vice President Tyler Vanice, Secretary-Treasurer Taqiyah Gibbons, or PR Coordinator Nigel Haynes) if you would to join the fun. 

H&G Club members Jessica Mark, Zahra Nayyeri, Carla Hernandez, and Anthony Olan attend the "Trial of the Century"

Buffalo Museum of Science

Buffalo Museum of Science
Current (and alumni) members of the H&G Club pose near one of the beautiful waterfalls at Letchworth State Park
Fall colors at Letchworth State Park

Fall wildflowers at Letchworth
Letchworth State Park

Mastodon skull at Lethworth

Log cabin at Letchworth State Park

Mary Jemison state, Letchworth State Park
(Photos courtesy of Zahra Nayyeri)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Political Science Major, Ashley Cheff, honored at Top-Ten Luncheon

Political Science major, Ashley Cheff, was recognized as one of the ten first-year students with the highest Grade Point Average (G.P.A.).  Ashley was one of two students with a perfect 4.0.
Top 10 Studetns
Ashley Cheff, Political Science, pictured far left, along with the other honorees as the top-ten luncheon.

Congratulations, Ashley!
Top-Ten Winners: 
  • Ashley Cheff  Pol Science
  • Daniel Gertis Eng/Comm
  • Abby Lindberg  Psych
  • Angela Marini -Graphic Design
  • Brittany Denton Nat Sci/PT
  • Jennifer Gaffney PA
  • Janelle Legault  PA
  • Taylor McHenry PA
  • Sarah Rohe (3.965) PA
  • Lauren Robel (3.95) PA

Graduate of the Last Decade: McKenzie Higgins, '09 to Visit H&P Classes

McKenzie Higgins (2009, Political Science) to visit campus classrooms on Thursday, November 6. 

The History & Political Science Department is pleased to have McKenzie Higgins, winner of the Graduate of the Last Decade Award speak to current students about her Daemen experience and how it prepared her for law school and her post-graduate career. McKenzie is being recognized  both for her scholarly achievements and for contributions to the community, including leading the Daemen Ride for Roswell Team.  

 She will be speaking in Dr. Parshall's classrooms on Thursday, November 6 at the following times:

1:50 in Room 218 DS Hall (PSC 305)
2:30 in Room 240 DS Hall (PSC 217)

All majors and interested students are invited to attend!

Graduate of the Last DecadeMCKENZIE HIGGINS, ‘09 (POLITICAL sCIENCE)

Higgins holds a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in religious studies from Daemen. She went on to earn a law degree from Western Michigan University-Cooley Law School in Auburn Hills, Mich., and a master of laws in criminal law and trial advocacy also from Cooley Law School.
A Cheektowaga resident, Higgins is a member of the American Bar Association and the Incorporated Society of Irish-American Lawyers. She’s also founder and team captain of the Daemen Ride for Roswell group. She is currently a legal document review analyst at M&T Bank and an independent contractor for Access Legal Care in Garden City, Michigan. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ebola Panel Discussion

Dr. Joseph Sankoh, Dr. Gale Burstein, and Mr. Anthony Saysay discuss Ebola on Oct. 20

A large crowd of around a hundred people was in attendance Monday night for the second event of the new History & Politics events series, a panel discussion of the Ebola crisis currently ravaging the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. The event was organized by Dr. Joseph Sankoh, associate professor of Political Science, who is a specialist on African politics and coordinates the department's Refugee Studies minor. Dr. Sankoh chaired the panel and discussed the history and culture of West Africa. The two other panelists were Dr. Gale Burstein (Erie County Commissioner of Public Health) and Mr. Anthony Saysay, a native of Liberia who came to the U.S. seven years ago as a refugee.

The panel discussion emphasized the impact of the crisis has had upon West Africa, where over 9,000 people have contracted Ebola and where over 4,500 have died. While much of the press coverage of the Ebola outbreak in the United States has focused on the United States, there has been relatively little discussion of conditions in Africa or the impact that Ebola is having in Africa. This event offered a corrective to that perspective, keeping the focus on conditions in West Africa. Saysay spoke about trauma and devastation caused by civil war in Liberia, asking "Who is coming to help?" and asking those present to pray for Africa and for the victims and survivors of the Ebola epidemic. Sankoh emphasized such issues as the legacy of colonialism on the region's country, as well as the prevalence of poverty, the lack of basic health and transportation infrastructure, and discussed cultural practices that have helped to spread disease. Burstein traced the disease's trajectory, highlighting the ways that Ebola is transferred and identifying stages of infection and transmission.

Dr. Sankoh (photo from

The panel discussion attracted attention from several local media outlets. Read/listen to news coverage from WBFO radio (linked HERE), and Time-Warner cable news (linked HERE).

Asked how to help provide relief for the victims of Ebola, both Sankoh and Burstein recommended work of Buffalo's Jericho Road Community Health Center, under the leadership of Dr. Marion Glick: Daemen's African Student Association is also raising funds for Ebola relief during this week's Ebola Awareness Week; contact ASA president Maryan Jumale (maryan.jumale @ for more information.

Read more about the panelists at our earlier blog post, linked HERE. The event was sponsored by the History & Political Science Department, with co-sponsorship from the African Student Association, the Office of the President, the Office of Academic Affairs, the Center for Sustainable Communities and Civic Engagement, the Division of Arts and Sciences, the Division of Health and Human Services, the Health Care Studies Department, the Paralegal Studies Program, and the Public Health Department.