Prospective Students

Umbereen Rashid

  • Graduation Year: 2019
  • Majors & Minors: Major in History and Minor in Psychology



Why did you choose history as your major?

My high school History teacher actually played a very influential role in my decision to major in History. Studying History all these years has made me realize how important it is to not only be educated on our society today, but to be active and critical civic participants of our society. Additionally, I was always interested in studying the past and finding major links between then and now. I loved thinking historically, and I knew I wanted to educate my students in the same way by making them historical thinkers. Studying History would help me make an impact by focusing on the counter-narratives of the past.

What did you like most about it?

Being a History major, I loved how my professors were resourceful and open to help. My History professors taught their classes in such a way that made it obvious that they were passionate about the field, and that passion inspired me as well. Whenever I had any questions or needed help on my research papers or my thesis, they provided resources that helped me accomplish major academic milestones. Additionally, graduate students were also available to offer any help and advice on writing History papers. This helped me get through my undergrad.

What is your current position, what do you, and what do you enjoy most about it?

I am currently student teaching at the Piscataway High School by Rutgers. I fortunately have the privilege to teach Honors World Cultures and Honors U.S. History I, both foundational history classes that I feel I can gain a lot from as a future teacher. One of the things I enjoy most about it is having my students realize their potential for doing well in their social studies class (writing and reading skills), and more importantly having them appreciate the content they learn in their History classes. It is easy for many students to typically dismiss their history classes as textbook work, but I believe in creating a culturally relevant and engaging curriculum that forces my students to think like historians, which I what I always look forward to in my position.
What was your first job after Rutgers and how did you get it? Since I’m in the Graduate School of Education, my first work experience will be continuing my clinical student-teaching practicum at the high school, which I was able to get through the graduate program. I am also working as a full-time summer tutor in English and Social Studies.

How did you move from that first job to your current position?

Looking back, what classes or experiences at Rutgers would you point to as contributing to your successes? Looking back, there were many classes I took that have left a lasting impact on me. The History Seminary with Prof. Devun has definitely been a challenging yet rewarding course since I was able to write my capstone paper. In addition, I have taken Health, Culture, and Society with Prof. Schoen, which has taught me so much about how our History is heavily intertwined with the field of medicine, as well as how our personal choices can make a significant impact on ourselves and our community. I have also taken the Cold War and U.S. Foreign Relations with Prof. Foglesong who I recommend to any incoming History major. He was the best and most engaging professor I have had in my undergrad.

What advice do you have for our current Arts and Sciences students?

My advice for students in the Arts and Sciences is to always take advantage of your professors’ office hours. It is important to visit their office frequently and ask as many questions because they can offer students the help they need. Having a plan on what to do with any major is a nerve-racking process, which is why I have always depended on my professors and advisor at the History department. They will provide valuable insight on what can be accomplished with a degree in History, whether it’s Education, Law, Public Policy, Graduate Studies, and more.

Return to Prospective Students Page