History major Tyson Luneau '13 of Amesbury, Mass., will bring his longtime passion for history to teach high school students how fascinating the field can be, and "how relevant it truly is to understanding the world around us."
"History is built upon the interpretations of those who tell it, and it is almost always open to discussion and debate. Having learned through my experience at MCLA how to decipher different biases and interpretations of history has made the field even more interesting to me."
Recently, Luneau presented a paper at a conference of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges, after having offered it at MCLA's Annual Undergraduate Research Conference. For this effort, he analyzed the 19th century Russian Empire in the context of European Imperialism.
While presenting his paper at MCLA's undergraduate research conference was a way to build upon his presentation skills, Luneau found the opportunity to present it to a larger audience at the COPLAC conference enabled him to think more critically about the role of research in his undergraduate education.
For Luneau, undergraduate research is one of the central components of deeper learning.
"While it is particularly central to history, anyone studying essentially any field can benefit from research, digging deeper into a topic of interest," he said. "While it has its obvious benefits to fostering a knowledge of history, the skills obtained from doing research can be applied to many different real-life situations. My research skills enable me to think critically and objectively, boost my work ethic, and foster my ability to write and communicate effectively."
For an independent study class that focused on Québec's linguistic policies, Luneau traveled with a small group of students and Dr. Robert Bence to Ottawa, Ontario.
"We visited the Canadian Parliament, met with a member of Parliament from Ontario, and visited the Canadian War Museum and Museum of Civilization. While the focus of my study pertained to provincial politics in Québec, this trip gave me a better insight into exactly how federal and provincial politics interact and co-exist and how Québec's unique position within Canada affects policies at the federal level."
In February, he will attend the Ashoka Exchange Social Entrepreneurship Conference at the University of San Diego. Luneau also coordinates MCLA's tour guide program as its Senior Admissions Ambassador, is the manager for the campus radio station, and serves as president for the photography and education clubs, among other activities.
"Four years ago, I would have never seen myself running a radio station, being president of two other clubs, running a tour guide program, working around 30 hours per week and paying rent while still maintaining high grades," he said. "I feel far more prepared for the 'real world' after college, and I think these experiences will greatly serve me in my future as a high school history teacher."
According to Luneau, his academic experience at MCLA also has been "excellent."
"While I certainly entered MCLA with a passion for learning, my interest in the field of history has grown tremendously, and I've been constantly pushed by my professors to challenge myself and to go the extra mile. The history department professors have been helpful not only in pushing me, but have also taken the time to get to know me and to supplement my interests in the field."
At MCLA, "I feel like the potential for success is huge and the faculty are truly dedicated to helping students reach their fullest potential."