MA in history grad brings back memories from United Kingdom

November 26, 2018

From Prescott, Arizona, to the United Kingdom, K’Tera Bartels has taken history with her everywhere. She has always been fascinated with the stories of people, places and events. It is no wonder she finds herself graduating with a master’s degree in history from the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies this semester.

Her research primarily focuses on the United Kingdom and, after saving up the funds, she was able to go to the country to study archival materials. K'Tera Bartels photo K'Tera Bartels. Download Full Image

“Simply the chance to be in the archives, to hold and read the physical notes from meetings and correspondence nearly a century old, was incredible,” said Bartels. “The greatest benefit was the Tank Museum at Bovington, Dorset. The staff there are incredibly helpful, engaging and it was a joy to meet with them and spend time in their archives.”

She says the experience is not one she will forget quickly, and she can’t wait for the chance to go back. Although she may wait a while, as she plans to slow things down after graduating. She eventually wants to teach history to elementary or high school students.

Bartels answered a few questions about her experience at ASU.

Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in? 

Answer: I can definitely say I was certain of my field when I was in high school. A very dedicated history teacher helped me realize that history was more complex than I could ever hope to realize in my lifetime, and yet I still wanted to learn as much about it as I could.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?

A: ASU’s history faculty is so diverse, with so many different specialties: The fact that each and every faculty member could still love their field so passionately is such a contrast from what might be traditionally assumed with the title "historian" and it pushed me to consider my chosen field with new appreciation. The challenge of the master’s program also allowed me to realize that I was capable of developing my own ideas, doing the work necessary to prove my ideas and presenting them proudly to a waiting audience. As someone who has had to really develop my skills in public speaking and in communicating with an audience, the realization that I could achieve this was a brilliant moment.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: As an Arizona native, ASU is practically in the backyard of my hometown and as a large university, ASU has the resources I needed to really further my ability to do research and study.

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: As a master's student, I had a committee who all deserve some measure of credit, and I feel very fortunate to have had the wonderful committee that I did. I honestly do believe my advisor, Dr. Chris Jones, helped "demystify" the graduate process for me. Learning that I could keep up and succeed at a graduate level was possible thanks to his investment in my work. It was certainly a feature of developing my own confidence in myself, but he helped me learn that professors and students alike are human beings with their own goals, and we all have useful things to contribute. Other professors have certainly contributed to that learning process, but his introduction and assistance over the course of my program has only emphasized the real appeal of my chosen field and the possibilities for my field in the future.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: Don’t neglect people or take them for granted. Reaching out for help is an important skill in both personal and professional situations. ASU has put me in touch with incredibly dedicated individuals who have invested in me, and finding relationships, and especially maintaining those relationships, is key to surviving the most crushing moments in the semester.

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

A: Hayden Library is a great spot, even with the construction. I’ve also fallen in love with the Ross-Blakley Hall since its recent update.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: I think the best place to start would be with families and individual communities: J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, has set up an organization called “Lumos” that specifically aims to help communities, primarily the children in those communities, find families or homes that care for them as people, not just as an obligation. I would prefer to follow her model in offering aid to families in disadvantaged positions around the globe, giving them structure to help parents and children make better lives for themselves. Instead of trying to work through federal organizations, I believe the communities would be best served by finding ways to empower themselves. When the smallest group is strengthened, the community as a whole is made stronger, and when communities are stronger, the world can flourish.

Rachel Bunning

Communications program coordinator, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies

Communication grad finds her voice in performance art

November 26, 2018

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for fall 2018 commencement. Read about more graduates.

Communication major Jaime Faulkner transferred to Arizona State University from Mesa Community College and wasted no time getting involved in student life and leadership at ASU, all while making the Dean’s List each semester.  ASU student Jaime Faulkner Jaime Faulkner. Download Full Image

In addition to her classwork, Jaime interned for the ASU online literary magazine Superstition Review before being promoted to the position of nonfiction editor. She also worked as associate editor for Four Chambers Press, an independent community literary magazine and small press based in Phoenix.

With a clear love of writing, the Phoenix native was also a Presidential Honors Scholar at Maricopa Community College and placed first in poetry in a national literary competition sponsored by the League of Innovation, a consortium of community colleges across the nation.

Branching out while at ASU, Jaime began to explore performance art as an aspect of her education in communication.

“Performance art is a really gracious intersection between theater and poetry for me,” she said. “My work and study in this area have allowed me to articulate exactly what I want and need to say.”

Jaime also received the Kristin Bervig Valentine Performance Studies Scholarship from the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication for 2018 and wrote and performed a solo show about queer resistance in tabletop gaming. She has also performed about the panopticon effect of the male gaze on female-coded bodies, and she studies gender and pop culture. She is  one of the organizers for the Encyclopedia Show Arizona, a community-led live variety show, which is being organized entirely by students for the first time in Arizona.

“My time at ASU has been invaluable to my development, as a scholar and as a person,” Jaime said. “My life has been shaped in the best way by my education, and I can thank my classmates and instructors at the Hugh Downs School for that.”

Question:  What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in? 

Answer: I transferred into ASU and had heard great things about the Hugh Downs School from other friends in the major. When I started making my schedule, I was delighted by the versatility of communication and took the opportunity to study gender, critical theory, pop culture and performance studies. My aha moment was during our dress rehearsal for a performance showcase in spring 2018; I realized I was exactly where I was meant to be, doing the work I needed to. 

Jaime rehearsing her performance at The Empty Space theater at ASU. Jaime is a Kristin Bervig Valentine Performance Studies Scholar.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: I chose ASU for the Hugh Downs School, specifically. My sister went to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and had an excellent experience, so I was encouraged by that. 

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: In my first performance studies class with Jennifer Linde, I was blown away by her ability to facilitate spaces and create communities within classrooms. We've studied and performed about a lot of sensitive topics in those classes, and Jennifer always gives students the space to grow and learn from each other. Her ability to deeply listen and make people feel heard is a gift I wish to emulate. 

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: Go to office hours! Your professors want you to succeed, and they'll help you if you're having trouble or even just have questions. Forming relationships with professors has been one of the most rewarding parts of my studies.

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

A: I love the lawn above Hayden!

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I'm taking a year off to work and travel, and then plan to attend graduate school in fall 2020.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: I would make sure sexual health resources and family planning resources were available in every place I could reach. 

Manager, Marketing and Communication, Hugh Downs School of Human Communication