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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of History

Andreia Wardlaw

Student Spotlight

What made USC your college of choice?
I accompanied my sister to her USC college tour when I was in middle school so that was my first experience with campus. I remember walking around and thinking I could see myself going there. Fast forward to my junior year of high school, I participated in a program called Summer Seniors where I was able to spend five days on USC’s campus, live in the dorms, and learn more about the school. That experience cemented my decision to come to The University of South Carolina.


Why did you choose to pursue History at USC?
History has always been my favorite subject. I’ve always found the past to be so interesting and full of unbelievable stories that answer the question of how we got here. The significance of being a historian took on a whole new meaning once I realized it can be used to explain the various social issues plaguing our country. I believe history provides the context we need as a country  to better identify the roots of virtually all  issues and better address and correct them.


What has been your favorite History course thus far?
My favorite course so far is a class called The American Civil Rights Movement. It was one of the most impactful classes I have taken so far at USC. It went in-depth about the African American struggle for equality in America reaching far beyond the stunted time frame I learned about in high school. The course was taught by Dr. Patricia Sullivan, an extremely knowledgeable scholar who opened my eyes to parts of the Civil Rights movement I never knew and ultimately gave me a better understanding of past and current race relations in America. Also, as an African American Woman, it gave me even more pride in the tenacity of my community.


What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned as a History major? How has it changed your life?
The most valuable thing I have learned as a history major is the power of interpretation. Learning history in primary education you’re fed a lot of opinions and interpretations presented as facts. The assumption is that History, being a record of the past, never changes but that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are dates and names that are unchangeable facts but beyond that historical events have to be interpreted in the context of when they are happening, from different points of view, and taking into account not only the effects but also the causes leading to significant events. Being a history major has helped me understand how important it is to have objective historians who are truly, and unbiased recording and interpreting our history. How scholars interpret history has a huge impact on how citizens and non-scholars understand the society they’re living in and it can have a serious impact. Knowing this has drastically changed the importance of my future career to me.


How do you spend your time outside of the History Department?
Outside of the history department I enjoy volunteering, attending USC sporting events, going to church, and spending time with family.


What are your plans for the future?
After undergrad I plan on continuing my education in history by pursing a PhD in American history and eventually becoming a professor. I hope to specialize in Civil war and early 20th century history with an emphasis on African American Women’s history, the constructions of femininity and evolution of African American Feminism.

Favorite Book:
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Favorite Quote:
“So we beat on, boats against the current,  borne back ceaselessly into the past” F. Scott Fitzgerald


Tell us some fun facts about yourself!:
I am from Greenville South Carolina. I am a research assistant for the Center for Civil Rights History and Research, a member of Gamecock Connection and the Multicultural Outreach Student Team, and a recipient of The Grace Jordan McFadden Scholarship.