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NEWS & EVENTS

Alumni Spotlight Interviews

Charlotte Holder Clinger, B.A, 1965

Charlotte Holder Clinger

Charlotte Holder Clinger is a retired Air Force colonel currently living in Fairfax, Virginia. After graduating from UNCG, she went on to earn an M.A. in Public Administration from the University of Northern Colorado and Education/Teaching Certification from the University of the Americas in Mexico City, Mexico. She is still active with historical organizations. Dr. Emily J. Levine, career liaison for the department, interviewed her in 2015.

  1. When did you first develop an interest in history?

    I enjoyed history from grammar school onto high school and college. I knew I wanted to be a history major.

  2. What do you value most about your history degree?

    I value the historical perspective it has given me regarding both current events and the history which has played a pivotal role in the paths of nations and people.

  3. How would you say that you have used the skills and knowledge you developed as a history major in your career? These can be in your day-to-day activities or in long-term planning and/or strategizing your professional path.

    When I joined the United States Air Force, I specifically asked for Intelligence because I knew that my background as a history major would be a good fit for me. It was. I stayed in Intelligence my entire military career (retired as a Colonel) and also used my degree and the experience of my military Intelligence background to pursue my civilian profession as an analyst and supervisor with the Central Intelligence Agency.

  4. What advice would you give a graduating history major setting out in today's job market?

    Do not think that teaching is the only avenue for a history major. As I have noted, I used my history degree for advancement in both the military and as a government civilian. Also, there are private organizations which specialize in Intelligence which value knowledge in certain areas. It also helps to obtain at least a reading capability in the language of the area which you emphasize during your studies.

  5. What advice would you give a first year student considering majoring in history?

    Consider what you want as a career. If you wish to teach or write, history is a great major. If you wish to go into government or the private sector in the area of Intelligence, history is a great major.

  6. Is there anything else you would like to share with our students about your passion for history and/ or its relationship to your professional experience?

    When I retired, I did not leave history behind. I am a charter member of a historical society in North Carolina (Beech Mountain) and am involved in the Women Veterans Historical Project at UNCG. I also am active in a genealogical and historical society and several military veterans' organizations which are steeped in military history as well as current events. In addition, I became the managing editor of a magazine with a heavy emphasis on history for four years. It was a perfect fit. History is a lifelong pursuit.


Gina Marie Hurley, B.A, English/History, 2011

Charlotte Holder Clinger

Gina Marie Hurley is currently a graduate fellow and part-time instructor in English at Yale University. After graduating from UNCG, she earned her M.A. in English at Purdue University. Now she is a Ph.D. student in Medieval Studies/Literature at Yale University. Dr. Emily J. Levine, career liaison for the department, interviewed her in 2015.

  1. When did you first develop an interest in history?

    I've essentially been interested in history since I was a child. I loved to read, and I quickly developed a fondness for historical biographies.

  2. What do you value most about your history degree?

    Especially through Anne Barton's research seminar, I learned how to effectively evaluate and analyze a variety of primary and secondary texts. Historical research demands a flexibility of mind and creativity of approach that my history professors helped me develop. During my time there, my professors (particularly Asa Eger, Ms. Barton, and Lisa Tolbert) taught me how to make my literary interests an integral part of my approach to history, and those valuable lessons have shaped my path as an academic.

  3. How would you say that you have used the skills and knowledge you developed as a history major in your career? These can be in your day-to-day activities or in long-term planning and/or strategizing your professional path.

    As a literary scholar working in a highly interdisciplinary field, I use the research skills I developed at UNCG on a daily basis. To understand medieval literature, you must have some understanding of medieval history, and much of my research continues to exhibit this historical mindedness.

  4. What advice would you give a graduating history major setting out in today's job market?

    Be creative and open-minded! Humanities degrees are often so widely applicable that it can be difficult to "sell" your skills in such a competitive market. Think deeply about the qualities and skills you bring to the table and how they might connect to different careers in surprising and valuable ways.

  5. What advice would you give a first year student considering majoring in history?

    Consider doing a wide variety of internships and volunteer activities during your time in college to gain an understanding of how your training can be useful in different industries. Above all, take the time to connect with your professors—they really do care about your future and your interests, and they are invaluable sources of advice and encouragement.

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