Sarah Beth Myers '03: "The Skills and Knowledge Base Are Universal"
We asked Sara Beth Meyers '03 how history had prepared her for her position as Assistant Attorney General for the State of Tennessee. Here's how she answered:
My History major from Duke has given me an advantage, both professionally and personally. I continually draw upon the skills and knowledge that I gained as a History major when I practice law and address social justice issues as Founder and President of Advocates for Women’s And Kids’ Equality (AWAKE). My experience as a History major taught me how to question, research, and, most importantly, how to think creatively about context and personal motivations that surround each issue and challenge in my professional and personal life.
Although I have always been interested in History as a subject matter, I was drawn to the major because I wanted to study a specific period and series of historical events in depth. The Senior Honors Seminar was one of the most rewarding academic experiences of my undergraduate career because it gave me an opportunity to discuss my own research and ideas with professional historians and students from a variety of different fields. In the Seminar, my professors and classmates encouraged me to defend my theories and consider other possible questions and approaches to exploring my chosen topic. Several of the students in my seminar had plans to become doctors, lawyers, or to pursue careers in business, but all of us at the table shared a committed passion for research and discovery. The skills and perspective that I gained both through writing my Honors thesis and participating in fascinating discussions both in the seminar and in my other history courses have directly influenced the way that I approach complex issues in the legal and political communities. I recommend majoring in History to anyone who plans to excel in their chosen profession because the skills and knowledge base that the curriculum provides are universal and foster invaluable creative thinking.