Student Life

Interviewing Humanities Majors

I had the great option this semester to email some people in Art History and Museum Studies along with a freshly made English Major. These were great interviews with lots of different insights and opinions, and they were a lot of fun to have.  

Tristan Devocelle

Photo courtesy: Tristan Devocelle



What’s Your Major? 

“Art History”

What originally attracted you to this major?

“My freshman year, I was originally a pre-nursing major. I thought that nursing was certainly the perfect career path for me, but when I got here, I started to realize that I wasn’t at all happy with it. I was having a really hard time adjusting, making friends, or even meeting people. Other than classes, the only thing I had to do was my work-study job at residence hall security desks in the evenings. An RA from the residence hall I was working at one evening got me signed up for the Museum Enthusiasts Club, and I went to a pizza party club meeting where I realized art history was an option for me. There was a moment later on when I realized I wanted to change my major, and there was a senior art history major I knew, so I asked her questions about it so I knew what I was getting into. From the outside, it probably looked like I decided to change my major to art history very suddenly, and I did, but I was also anticipating that choice for a long time.”

What are some classes that you like in this major?

“Museum classes like intro to collections management and intro to exhibitions are very enjoyable. 19th-century art history this semester has also been great, there are a lot of really cool art pieces in it, and getting a better timeline of history in general in my head has been fun.”

Any teachers that you like?

“Terri Switzer and Onnica Marquez are both 10/10 teachers. For me, there haven’t been any teachers I didn’t like; It’s a nice change of pace from what high school was.” 

What are some of your Hobbies?

“I draw, oil paint, digital paint in photoshop and procreate, and within the past few weeks I’ve taken up acrylic painting too. 

Why do you think the school undervalues this major compared to others?

“In general, I think humanities majors would be undervalued by society because all parents want their kids to be doctors or lawyers rather than anything else. Majors might be valued or devalued based solely on whether they’re a science or not, rather than if the majors are popular or successful. The art history and museum studies program isn’t supported nearly enough by the school.” 

Are there things the school could improve in this regard?

“Firstly, showing more respect to the director of the program. Secondly, any boost in funding would help.” 

Why should someone be interested in this major?

“If someone is interested in careers in museums or libraries, this major is great. Other things could be done with it, anyone who’s interested should talk to Terri Switzer about it.” 

Logan Keene

Photo courtesy: Logan Keene



What’s Your major? 

“History major with Museum studies minor and Graphic Design minor.” 

What originally attracted you to this major?

“With history, something I’ve enjoyed for a long time, I read it like a storybook. Learning how one event creates an almost domino-type effect. Graphic design is something picked up in High School I enjoyed, it can be a challenge, but it’s like spicy food. Hot and painful, but satisfying.”

What are some classes that you like in this major?

“Museum Studies, just enjoy the thought process of thinking everything out, and appealing to the visitors. Something to learn from. Just like the class and the area to work in. Drawing class where you can just be working on it, and realizing an hour has passed. You get the most out of it, some people will only use computers when necessary. No reason in particular.”

Any teachers that you like?

“Onnika Marques works at the Library. Terri Switzer in Museum studies. She’s always looking out for everyone. It’s always nice to have that.” 

What are some of your Hobbies?

“Work out and run almost every morning. Read very often and meditate, clubs like campus ministry.” 

Why do you think the school undervalues this major compared to others?

“We’re still valued, but when we go here, when people think of Ambrose they don’t think of the museum’s program, compared to education and nursing programs per se. Not mentioned as much. Not a huge amount of colleges focus on museum studies. Maybe put a little more emphasis on us.” 

Taylor Kilgus

Photo courtesy: Taylor Kilgus

What’s Your Grade?


What’s your major?

“Art History, History, and Women and Gender Studies (triple major)”

What originally attracted you to this major?

“Initially I enrolled at St. Ambrose as a history major with an interest in their museum studies program. After being at the school for a few weeks, I ended up adding on the Art History major as well because of their integrated program for a museum studies master’s degree at Western Illinois University, and the art history classes are really fun. I just added the Women and Gender Studies major this year after discovering I was only a few classes short of the major and was able to fit them all together into my schedule.”

What are some classes that you like in this major?

“For all of my majors, I like how many diverse options there are for what can be applied to each. I also really like that there is a lot of overlap between my classes which has allowed me to complete three majors and still graduate on time. So far my favorite class from each major would be, Baroque and Rococo Art in Art History, Medieval Europe in History, and Medieval Women Mystics for Women and Gender studies (cross-listed course in theology).” 

Any teachers you like?

“I like Dr. Terri Switzer and Onnica Marquez who teach Art History and Museum Studies courses. I also have enjoyed my history and WGS classes with Dr. Manning.” 

What are some of your hobbies?

“I am the president of the Museum Enthusiasts Club here on campus, and I am also the treasurer of Triota (WGS honor society).”

Why do you think the school undervalues this major compared to others?

“I think the school undervalues specifically the art history program in the school, as well as others. In the case of art history, there is not the funding that many of the other programs have. Typically the Art History classes are all full and many times have waitlists for people to join, yet the classes are in a very small classrooms. In general, as well, many of the liberal arts classes are all within Ambrose Hall, which does not receive the same renovations to rooms that many other buildings on campus seem to get.” 

Are there things the school could improve in this regard?

“I think that the school could distribute funding to these programs more evenly, as we are still a liberal arts college, yet seem to not place much value in them.”

Why should someone be interested in this major?

“Someone should be interested in any of my three majors because they are very fun classes regardless of if you are interested in the topic or not. Many of the professors include hands-on activities and projects that make the subject more enjoyable to everyone.”

For my last interview, I was also able to get a brand new English major and hear her insights on what it was like to change from English to Biology. 

Angie Luna

Photo courtesy: Angie Luna

What got you into the English major?

“What got me into the English major, specifically the creative writing concentration, was when I discovered that I had a bigger passion for writing than I did for Biology. However, the real reason that got me into English was that I realized that the major I had picked before was not one that I wanted to do. With Biology I was only in it for the money. After some deep thought, I decided to just let it go and go for a major that truly made me happy, hence the change of major to the English major.”

Anything you like about your majors so far?

“What I like about English so far is the freedom that comes with it. I can pick the path I want to take, and what I want to focus on, and I enjoy being able to expand my writing skills. As an English major, I have creative liberty, and I can tune my stories and make them unique. A way I tune my stories is by incorporating illustrations in my stories to further enhance experiences. I use a variety of supplies like watercolor, acrylic paint, oil pastels, colored pencils, and more. Most of all, the major will make me a better writer than I am today, and it’s what I like the most about it.”

Are you still involved in your major or activities in your major?

I am still involved with my biology major and currently taking classes since I didn’t change my major in time. 

If there’s one thing that was great about having an opportunity like this, it was getting to see people behind the different majors. The people interviewed here aren’t representative of every single Art History or English major on campus, but it was interesting to see the parallels between different people and what they seemed to both enjoy, and how they differed obviously. I hope to continue making more articles like this, and meeting plenty of new people here at St. Ambrose!

Ethan Windt is a staff writer for The Buzz.