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Alumni Stories

Ral ObiohaRal Obioha '08  is the recipient of the EMU's 2021 Outstanding Young Alum Award presented at this year's Homecoming and Family Weekend. Ral earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and history in 2008 and was awarded a merit scholarship to Howard University School of Law. She is a private immigration lawyer at her private law firm in Houston, Texas and is an advocate for human rights and gender equality.

Patrick CampbellPatrick Campbell ’12, MA ’14 (conflict transformation) was honored with the Governor’s Fire Services Award for Civilian Excellence in Virginia Fire Service Support. He is a senior disaster program manager for the American Red Cross Virginia Region.
Amanda ChandlerAmanda Chandler ’14, from Harrisonburg, VA, works as an assistant manager for Blue Ridge Hospice Thrift Shop, currently applying for graduate school.

“I came to EMU accidentally and thinking I would transfer after two years – but I chose to stay. I found my classes challenging and felt supported by staff and had a great relationship with my professors. I also loved the social aspect and knew I wouldn’t find it anywhere else…. I continue to read and write and analyze the world knowing a little about where and how we arrived here.”
Brendon DerstineBrendon Derstine ’12, from Harleysville, PA, currently teaches social studies in Harrisonburg, VA.

“These experiences shape the way I teach and engage my students who also come from many diverse backgrounds throughout the world, by helping them to see the experiences and perspectives of other cultures.”
Simone HorstSimone Horst ’12, graduated with a history and social sciences degree and now works at EMU as the special collections librarian in the Menno Simons Historical Library.

“History was always my favorite subject growing up and was something I knew I wanted to make a career of. I knew that I wasn’t interested in teaching history, but hoped that I would find a career path in museum or other history related work along the way (and I did!).
Justin KingJustin King ’12, from Lancaster, PA, teaches high school social studies in the Rockingham County Public School District.

“I have always had a love for new cultures, different languages, and a good story. Now, my love is watching some of my students discover that they have the same passion as I do.”
Katie TaylorKatie Taylor ’15, from Elkton, VA currently works for the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton.

“While I do not have a defined career path I know that with my degree in history I am fully prepared for wherever I choose to go. Working within the EMU History department allowed me to understand history instead of just absorbing the information to be able to reiterate it later. As a Historian it is important to take in the information, but also be able to analyze it and decipher how it relates to other information throughout history. Researching and writing are also important skills in the arsenal of a history major. While these skills are necessary within the realm of history they are not exclusive to it. They are very valuable in being able to market myself in different career opportunities that are not history related and are typically very sought after.”
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