/Student Hopes to Become History Professor
Matt Crary and his son at the Castillo de Son Marco in St. Augustine, Florida, last summer. Crary is heading to graduate school, where he plans to major in history.

Student Hopes to Become History Professor

By Alexander Plate

For Matt Crary, his upcoming graduation is another step on the road through school, before he goes on to attend graduate school. His hope is to become a history professor, so he expects to attend graduate school for the next five years at least.

Crary first started going to school in the spring of 2012 at Onondaga Community College. After high school, he decided to go into the U.S. Army. After his service ended, Crary worked a number of odd jobs, including as a barber, before deciding that he wanted to pursue a job as a history professor.

“I didn’t love any of the jobs I’d worked in before going to school, but I did love history classes and the whole history experience,” Crary said.

Crary studies American history, taking special interest in the history of Native Americans as European settlers came to North America. He also has an interest in early 20th century European history, especially the eras of the world wars.

Crary has not settled on what he plans to study in graduate school quite yet, but he says he is excited for the opportunity to explore more aspects of history, discover new passions and think outside the box.

Crary said that going on to graduate school with more experience behind him, at the age of 30, makes the transition less frightening than it seems to be for traditional students. Not only does he still work as a barber, but he has a support system that allows him to pursue further education without worrying about finances too much.

“I imagine my situation is very different from other, more traditional students, because I have a more stable financial foundation to go to graduate school,” Crary said. “Having that bedrock of support is letting me do stuff I probably wouldn’t be able to otherwise, so I’m very grateful. “

His plan is to attend graduate school at Cornell or Binghamton, both of which have competitive history graduate degree programs, before moving into a professorship at a smaller school while he works on his doctorate.

“I’d be happy to start with a job as a history professor at a small college, a community college maybe, and spend some time there before moving up to larger schools with more research opportunities,” Crary said. “I’ve got a pretty stable plan going forward. Honestly, I’m more worried about the future of the U.S. right now than I am about my personal future.”

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