Picture of Nick Sprenger smiling with his arm crossed.

Because of departmental support, I had chances to teach, conduct international research and engage in professional service. But it was the faculty who, through countless hours spent mentoring and professionalizing me, furthered my growth as a historian.

Nick Sprenger
Ph.D. Candidate

  • Alum
History
Contact
Employer
Rutgers University
Related Department
Year Graduated
2015, 2018

Nick Sprenger recognized the need for a more fulfilling career. He pursued history. The discipline offered him the space to explore the unknown while deepening his love for academic research, education and service. While here, he worked alongside history faculty as they guided him to greater knowledge, maturity and skill. The department’s academic rigor and expectations prepared Nick for further graduate work. Now a Ph.D. student at Rutgers University, a premier institution for historical research, Nick explores the history of modern Britain and British Empire.

A Conversation with Nick

What is your current employment/career?

“I am currently a full-time PhD candidate at Rutgers University-New Brunswick where I study European history. My specific research concentrates on the history of modern Britain and the British Empire in the long nineteenth century. Specifically, I study the dynamics between colonial violence and resistance, domination and control, and gender and empire.”

How did TAMUC prepare you for your current position?

“It is a bit difficult to put three years of mentorship, coursework and teaching experience into words. I would say that the department put me in a position to succeed and provided opportunities to do so. Because of departmental support, I had chances to teach, conduct international research and engage in professional service. But it was the faculty who, through countless hours spent mentoring and professionalizing me, furthered my growth as a historian. My relationships with faculty has been the most important and lasting factor in preparing me for graduate school at Rutgers, for maturation as a historian and for encountering life in general.”

What advice do you have for students?

“If you are interested in academia, make sure you are clear about what it is like. Talk with faculty and current grad students. Reach out to people on the job market. Identify your dream department and ask its members about their experience there. There are many perks of this job; you have intellectual freedom, academia is a robust and close community of like-minded people, you get to dedicate yourself to improving every single day. But the sacrifices are many and great. You must be flexible in your life. You must be okay with subsistence living while your friends buy homes and advance in their careers. You will work long and irregular hours with only tenuous job prospects. Grad school will place pressure on your mental and emotional health. Not to scare anyone away or anything; I love what I do. But I encourage anyone interested in studying history at the PhD level to make the most informed possible decision, for the PhD is a daunting path.”

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., European History, Rutgers University, in progress
  • M.A., History, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2018
  • B.A., History, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2015
Navigate This Page