The history department is adding three new minors starting this year. These new minors will join a list which also includes a history minor that has been around for a century. The three new minors are: Latin American history, Asian history and history of race and ethnic communities. Each will require 18 credits to complete. 

Each of the new minors will be easy to complete for students because part of the university core is a history class like Western Civilization, which is part of the minors’ requirements. Latin American History and Asian History are also interdisciplinary so the electives can be checked off by an array of classes outside of the history department. History of race and ethnic communities is not interdisciplinary because there are so many classes available.  

“What we are trying to do in this department is give students more options that will allow them to study topics that have a particular interest to them,” said Kevin O’Connor, the history department chair. 

A few years ago, the GSBA President Caleb Dawson, asked why there were no programs on diversity and race offered on campus. Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES) began being offered this fall.

“We are already teaching these classes. Why don’t students know about them? We needed to promote them better and make them more structured so it can be meaningful for students,” said Robert Donnelly, associate professor of history and former chair of the department.    

This led to the creation of the minors so students can study and have something on their resume that they can show and use in their future. The minors are applicable to students who want to know more about their family’s background, other cultures or will be going into a field where the history of people is important.  

“We are really excited about the prospects for not only our [College of] Arts and Sciences students but also those in medical, business or engineering fields,” Donnelly said. 

With students not knowing that there were classes available that focused on many cultures and parts of the world, it seemed very important to create all three of these minors as soon as possible. Leading to them all being unveiled at the same time. They took a year to go through the academic board. 

Any of the history minors are applicable to a vast number of majors. It it also serves as a better way to understand history and where people come from. 

Shelby Walker is a contributor.


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