Featured Alumni

Many graduates of our program continue their studies at some of the best graduate schools in the country. Others become outstanding primary or secondary teachers of history or social studies. The study of history helps to prepare our graduates for exciting careers in business, law, government, journalism, publishing, politics, historical preservation, museum management or curatorship, archive management and much more.

Whatever career choice our graduates make, the knowledge and skills they acquire here help them succeed—in work and life. Here are a few stories from our graduates.

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Josh Buck (2018)


[Biography from the website of the Clarke Historical Museum, where Josh has served as Executive Director since summer 2022.] Josh Buck was born in Arcata and has lived in Humboldt County his whole life. He graduated from Humboldt State University and received his BA in History in 2018. His area of historical focus was the Northwestern Pacific Railroad and the predecessor railroads of Humboldt and Mendocino counties. In addition, he graduated from Cal. Poly Humboldt’s Teacher Credential Program this year. 

Josh interned for both the Humboldt County Historical Society and the Blue Lake Museum in 2018. He was hired by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to create a lesson plan for local teachers in 2019. As well as being a board member for the Timber Heritage Association since 2019 and their secretary since January 2022. On any given weekend, you can find Josh and his wife Maya exploring seldom-visited local historical sites. 


Arnoldo Franco (2018)

Arnoldo Franco

Arnoldo Franco graduated in 2022 with an M.A. in Library and Information Science from The University of Arizona. He is currently a Graduate Assistant for Pima County Public Libraries and an archival intern for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson. He is also participating in a project fellowship through a collaboration between the Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project and The University of Arizona. Arnoldo plans to return to graduate school for Digital Curation and Archival  Certificates. 


Liam Salcuni (2019)

 Liam Salcuni

Liam Salcuni (History and Religious Studies '19) graduated with an MA in History from San Francisco State University in 2022.  His scholarly focus was the medieval body, religion, and popular beliefs. He was awarded the Mullins Prize for best graduate history paper at SFSU and is planning to pursue a Ph.D. 


Heather M. Sharpe (2011)



The Cal Poly Humboldt History Department provided skills and support foundational to every part of my life. The well-rounded education I received at H.S.U. gave me the confidence and ability to operate my own tutoring business shortly after graduating. The strong grammar and syntax skills my degree produced served me well as a professional editor. I utilized the same analytical and critical thinking skills required by H.S.U.’s curriculum to become a qualified paralegal.

I am currently attending C.S.U. Fresno and working towards my M.A. in history. I am studying French colonialism in North Africa and pursuing my goal of teaching at the higher-education level.

I would not have been able to achieve any of this without the respect and support I received from the dedicated faculty and staff of the H.S.U. History Department, especially Dr. Hamilton and Dr. Marschke. Dr. Marschke helped guide my education at H.S.U., ensuring I got the classes I needed and always being available to review papers, provide references and advice. Dr. Hamilton has been my mentor and greatest supporter. Her recognition of my work, and the time she continues to invest in me, has inspired me to follow in her footsteps and seek a career in education.


Cameron Nelson (2007)

Cameron Nelson

After graduating with my BA in History (minor Anthropology) from Humboldt in 2007, I applied to several graduate schools in Middle East Studies. I knew I wanted to go into conflict resolution, and I saw that the Middle East would be a critical region of the world for the foreseeable future. In 2008 I traveled to Tunisia to study Arabic, and lived there for one month. Upon receiving the news that I had gotten into the MA program at the University of Utah, I flew home and made the move to Salt Lake City.

I spent two wonderful years in the Middle East Center at the University of Utah, taking a wide range of history, anthropology, political science, and language classes. The excellent faculty and staff in the center made my graduate career a wonderful experience, and I made many good friends and contacts there (including my future wife).

After graduating with my MA in Middle East Studies in the spring of 2010, I traveled to Egypt and lived in Alexandria for 4 months while studying Arabic and teaching English for a non-profit organization called Amideast. It was a challenging time, running between teaching my classes and seeing my Arabic tutor. But I survived. Upon finishing my teaching contract I started an internship at Search For Common Ground, a non-profit organization in Washington DC dedicated to finding peaceful solutions to conflicts around the world.


Michael Karp (2010)

Michael Karp

I am currently a graduate student at Saint Louis University. I am studying environmental history and the history of the American West. While at Cal Poly Humboldt, I double majored in history and religious studies. This spring I am going to attend my first conference at the University of Kentucky. I am presenting a paper on trends in Borderlands history. Specifically, my paper explores debates in recent scholarship on Native American slavery and raiding in what is today the American Southwest and Northern Mexico.


Tyler G. Cline (2005)

Tyler G. Cline

*Update: Upon receiving his master’s degree, Tyler worked as an archivist for the National Park Service in Anchorage, Alaska.

In May 2013, he accepted a tenure-track job at the University of Wyoming, with the American Heritage Center, as an archivist at assistant rank. 


Maria Schrock (2008)

Maria Schrock

I graduated from Humboldt in May 2008, at which time I went to New Mexico State University to pursue a Master of Arts degree in history. The M.A. program was not as difficult as I had imagined it would be, which I realized was because of how well my professors at Humboldt had prepared me for the great load of coursework I faced as a graduate student. At the end of my first year I got two scholarships to do research in Peru, where I researched the agrarian reform that took place from 1965 to 1969 and used that research to write my master’s thesis, titled “Juan Velasco Alvarado and the Agrarian Reform: Myths and Realities, 1965-1969.” 


Gabriela M. Landeros (2010)

Gabriela M. Landeros

Gabriela M. Landeros graduated from Cal Poly Humboldt in 2010 with a B.A. in History-Social Science Education and a minor in English Literature. Currently she is attending Sacramento State University where she is concentrating in historic preservation and museum studies in the Public History M.A. program.

Her discovery of the public history field occurred while she was an intern through the National Park Services’ Cultural Resources Diversity Internship Program in the summer of 2009. Through the program she worked at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, Missouri producing research which contributed to the uncompleted collection of “African-American Life in St. Louis, 1804-1865.”

In the summer of 2010 Gabriela gained additional public history experience as she interned with The National Public Housing Museum in Chicago, Illinois. During her experience at the museum, she was part of a team which taught a summer program the history of public housing to middle school students in South Chicago. She also contributed to the success of the museum by creating a curriculum for future educational programs relating to public housing life in Chicago, and in the nation.

Today she is a graduate student intern for the Secretary of State, Archives Department in Sacramento, California. Gabriela hopes to continue her success during and after the M.A. program where she can focus on urban American history within the scope of the public history field.

While a master’s student, I became the president of Phi Alpha Theta and the administrative officer of the New Mexico State University Graduate Student Council. I also became a member of the New England Council of Latin American Studies, for which I presented two papers. The first paper is titled “Mexican Women: A Traditional Society,” which I wrote in my senior seminar at Humboldt with professor Pasztor. I graduated from NMSU in fall 2010 and started a Ph.D. program at University of Texas at El Paso the same semester. My area of study is Environmental History of Latin America. 
In a near future I see myself teaching in a four-year institution, where I hope to apply some of the teaching techniques I have learned from my professors from HumboldtNMSU, and UTEP. However, I will always be thankful to my Humboldt professors who gave me the bases I needed to be successful for anything beyond my Bachelor of Arts degree in history.


Nick Entsminger

Nick Entsminger

Everyone has a bit of history, which is why it is so important. After graduation in 2009, I enrolled in both the Stanford University School of Medicine, Primary Care Associate Program in Palo Alto, California and the Masters of Medical Science Program at Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania. I am currently licensed and practicing medicine as a physician assistant in rural California. The education and skills that I acquired from the staff of the History Department at Cal Poly Humboldt were invaluable to my pursuits. The writing techniques and critical thinking skills that I developed through courses with Drs. Marschke, Mays, Pasztor, Cliver and Paulet assisted me immensely during my graduate education.


Michelle Masaye Kiso (2011)

summer in Japan

I graduated magna cum laude from Cal Poly Humboldt in May 2011 with a B.A. in History and International Studies (area focus: Latin America) and minors in Anthropology, Geography, Linguistics, Philosophy and Spanish. I am now in the first year of the UCLA Ph.D. program in History, where I have been awarded a five-year funding package and the Chancellor’s Prize Fellowship. My work there will focus on Latin America, specifically 20th century Brazilian environmental history.

While at Cal Poly Humboldt, I benefited from many different courses, particularly those taught by Dr. Pasztor—especially Women in Latin America and History of Brazil (which inspired my current research focus), Dr. Marschke (whose Historical Methods class gave me a foundation in theory that has proven invaluable in my present studies) and Dr. Mays (who directed the Spring ‘11 Senior Seminar, and helped to refine my research interests further). I also appreciate the opportunity Dr. Dakota Hamilton gave me in allowing me to T.A. for her 311 course, which gave me insight into the challenges and great rewards of university-level teaching. Dr. Hamilton’s mentorship through that period helped me to build greater confidence in myself and to become even more certain that I was following the correct path.

Finally, I will always be grateful for the guidance and encouragement of my advisor, Dr. Suzanne Pasztor, whose thoughtful critiques helped me to grow, and whose advice has played an integral role in my academic development.

Additionally, the teachings in the various cultural backgrounds, as well as their various historical struggles, have allowed me better relate to the underserved community of which I currently practice. I will never forget that which I have gained from Cal Poly Humboldt and its professors, nor the way the third floor of the Humboldt Library smells just before closing after hours of study. Although choosing a career in medicine, my love of history will never fade.

I strongly encourage all contemplating attending Cal Poly Humboldt to consider an undergraduate in history.

Nick Entsminger
Proud Humboldt Alumni, Class of 2009


Victoria Munguia

B.A. History-Social Science Education 2013

I am grateful for all the support and professional development opportunities I received from the History Department’s faculty and staff throughout my academic career attending Humboldt. The History- Social Science Education Pathway has provided me with direct teaching experiences and has given me the confidence I need to succeed as a future educator of history. I am excited to start working with high school students from my hometown through Cal Poly Humboldt’s Secondary Education Program, and applying the valuable knowledge I have gained from my instructors into my own classroom practices. As a distance learner, I anticipate sharing with my community the knowledge I have gained helping with the coordination of Humboldt County’s History Day competition, and have been inspired working with local students, teachers, businesses, and school district employees who helped realize the development and success of History Day. Before I transfer the skills I have gained at the university teaching students from different communities, I will be working with students from the surrounding area over the summer teaching history to college bound high school students using my native Spanish language as an instructor for Upward Bound program at College of the Redwoods.


Jesse Re

B.A. History-Social Science Education 2009, Secondary Teaching Credential-Social Science 2010

Hello my name is Jesse Re. I graduated from Cal Poly Humboldt in the spring of 2009 with a bachelor degree in History-Social Science Education. Immediately after completing my BA I enter the secondary education program at Cal Poly Humboldt and earned a Social Science Secondary Education credential. Immediately after completing the credential program at Humboldt I got a teaching job at a local area school. I have been teaching in my subject area for the last three years. My history degree from Cal Poly Humboldt has opened doors for me and helped me to realize me dreams as an educator.


Amber Kavanagh (2009)

Amber Kavanagh

I am a Masters Student and Graduate Teaching Fellow in the History department at University of Oregon. I am studying modern United States history, with emphasis on women’s and medical history. My interest in these subjects and the desire to pursue them at the graduate level was sparked during my Senior Seminar course as a history major at Cal Poly Humboldt, where I thrived on the opportunity to explore and present on a historical topic of my own choosing. I intend to continue my education at the doctoral level, and consider the historical training I received from my professors at Cal Poly Humboldt to be invaluable toward that end.


Bradley Hunkins

B.A. History-Social Science Education 2010, Secondary Teaching Credential-Social Science 2011

I chose Cal Poly Humboldt for a variety of reasons; academics, athletics, location but most importantly its reputation as a great teacher preparatory school. I consider teaching to be the most important activity we engage in throughout our lives and the chance to work with students is the most rewarding part of my professional life. My experiences at Humboldt, both as an undergraduate in History-Social Science and as a Credential Candidate, helped make the transition to teaching in my own classroom smooth and fluid. Since my graduation in 2011 from the credential program I spent a year substitute teaching on the north coast and coaching football at College of the Redwoods. In 2012 I had the opportunity to accept a teaching job in the Central Valley at Lemoore High School. What a great school with an even more supportive community, the students are truly a joy to teach and brighten every day I have the opportunity to engage with them. The past year has been a whirlwind of firsts and excitement, but always being able to refer to the knowledge I attained while at Humboldt made this first year teachers life much easier! I cannot say enough about my time, experiences, or the professors at Humboldt (a BIGshout out to Chris Haynes, Joe Leaper, Suzanne Pasztor, Gayle Olson-Raymer, Thomas Mays & Dakota Hamilton) but I can say that I am proud to be an alum of an institution with a tradition of producing excellent teachers and innovators. GO JACKS!!