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I received a Masters in History in 1999 under the tutelage of Dr. Jane Dysart. I was 58 years old at the time and was about ready to complete a 32 year career with United Airlines. For the past six years I've been teaching history to the Osher Life Long Learning Institute at the University of Alabama and received the 2009 Excellence in Teaching Award from the College of Continuing Studies at the University of Alabama. My coursework focus is primarily 20th Century U.S. Thanks to Dr. Dysart and you all for preparing me for a fascinating second career. - Bruce Burrows, The Citadel '63, University of West Florida '99.
Michaela Albon, BA, Summa cum Laude, 1980, University of West Florida. Juris Doctor, 1983, With Honors, University of Florida. Ms. Albon, the recipient of numerous awards in her field, is currently the Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of Aurora Bank FSB in Issaquah, Washington. The Michaela A. Albon scholarship is given each year to a worthy pre-law student. In addition, Ms. Albon generously supports student activities such as trips to conferences and summer travel courses for students in the Dept. of History.
"In my view, practicing law IS the application of history. I am Chief Legal Officer of a highly (many now say over) regulated bank. We do business in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. As we still reel from the ripple effects of the financial crisis, we are faced almost daily with a flood of new statutes and regulations (federal, state, county and city) that must be interpreted, and compliance which must be quickly implemented. They are often ambiguous. It is impossible to do so with any hope of accuracy unless you understand their history. What future events was the enactor or promulgator trying to prevent or what opportunities was it trying to create? How can one know that unless they understand the events that precipitated the enactment or promulgation, and is that not the study of history? "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." I think George Santayana would have made a great lawyer or at least a legislator.
Because I am a banker, I am often asked how in the world we ever got into this mess. Some people will try to explain the securitization processes, the development of derivatives and the trading of credit default swaps. But, those are really the factors that caused the collapse to be worldwide and so deep. I believe that the true cause was far more basic than that. Too many people were getting paid too much to ignore history. Michaela Albon, January 8, 2012."
Janel Hendrix, B.A. in History, minor in Theater from the University of Southern California, 2000. M.A. in History/Public History from the University of West Florida, 2002. President of Phi Alpha Theta at UWF, 2001-2002.
"The thing I love most about being a historian and a Museum Curator is being a "detective." Finding out who owned an object, where it came from and what makes it so important can be exciting. You never know what you will reveal. Earning both a B.A. and an M.A. in History has allowed me to hone my "detective" skills, helping me uncover the history and significance of objects in order to accurately preserve them and their history for the future."
After earning her MA in Public History at UWF, Ms. Hendrix continued to hone her skills as a photo archivist with the Pensacola Historical Society, Photo Archivist and Office Manager at Historic Pensacola Photographs, Oral History Coordinator at UWF and archivist at West Florida Historic Preservation, Inc. Today, Janel Hendrix works as Curator for the Historical Society of Martin County in Stuart, Florida. "Curator brings love of history, ideas to new Elliot Museum" in the Palm Beach Post reveals how a degree in history influenced Ms. Hendrix' career. Read more about Janel Hendrix' experience as a Curator
Brenda Doss was born in Effingham, IL but moved to Cantonment, FL as a child and graduated from J.M. Tate High School in 2003 as valedictorian of her senior class. In 2006, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of West Florida with a B.A. in history, and
While obtaining these degrees, Doss worked at various jobs, including an unpaid internship at Eglin Air Force Base. Another position, doing oral histories for Baptist Health Care in Pensacola, FL while a UWF research assistant, introduced her to healthcare administration. After spending a semester teaching high school (finishing the year for another teacher who resigned), Doss was selected for the Navy’s Health Services Collegiate Program. She graduated in 2010 from the University of Florida with a master’s degree in Health Administration and was awarded the UF Master of Health Administration Outstanding Student Award. She was commissioned as a Navy lieutenant junior grade (O-2) in May 2010.
Michaela Albon, ’80, BA history, is the senior vice
president in the Washington Mutual Bank Legal Department. She joined Washington
Mutual in May of 1999, and is based at the company’s headquarters in
Seattle, Wash. She and her husband, Don, reside in Issaquah, Wash. Albon
was honored by the UWF National Alumni Association as a 2006 Distinguished
|Suzanne Lewis, ’78, BA American history, is superintendent of Yellowstone National Park. Lewis manages more than 2.2 million acres in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, a staff of 400 and an annual base budget of more than $30 million. After graduating from UWF, she began her career with the National Park Service as a seasonal park ranger at Gulf Islands National Seashore. Lewis recently delivered the commencement address at UWF’s spring 2006 graduation ceremony.|
|Carmen Martinez, ’80, MA history, is the new U.S. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Zambia. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Martinez previously served as chief of mission in Rangoon, Burma, principal officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Sao Paulo, Brazil, deputy chief of Mission in Maputo, Mozambique, principal officer at the U.S. Consulate in Barranquilla, Colombia, chief of the consular section in Quito, Ecuador and as a consular officer in Bangkok, Thailand and Caracas, Venezuela.|
Fitzhugh Sthreshley III, ’81,BA history, serves
on the Polk County Historical Association Board of Directors. He is a vice
president and business banker at Citrus and Chemical Bank. A past member
of the effort Meade city commission, he served as the town’s mayor
in 2003. Sthreshley has also served as treasurer of the Historical Society
of Fort Meade since 1997, and he has served on the Polk County Historical
Commission from 1999 to 2003. He lives in Fort Meade.
Arnold Weeks, ’73, BA history education, is director
of community services for Clay County. He is in charge of the Clay County
Library System, Agricultural Extension Service, Housing Program and Veteran’s
Services. Weeks has been an employee of Clay County since 1987, and served
as director of libraries for 19 years.
Barbara Weeks, ’73, MA history, donated her painting
of the Dorr House in Historic Pensacola Village to UWF.
|Bob Wesley, ’77, BA history, is the 2005 recipient of the Orange County Bar Association’s Liberty Bell Award. Wesley is a public defender in Orange and Osceola Counties in Florida. The Liberty Bell Award is presented annually during Law Week to an individual who has demonstrated community service and commitment to the values symbolized by the liberty bell, including encouraging respect for the law and promoting civic responsibility. Wesley has been a criminal defense attorney since 1984 and was elected Orange/Osceola Public Defender in 2000. He has focused on commitment to community by getting involved with outreach programs such as Habitat for Humanity, law camps for the Boy and Girl’s Club and an annual clothing drive for those who cannot afford appropriate attire for court proceedings.|