Starting in kindergarten, when my kind teacher Mrs. Hohmann showed me a children’s book about Ancient Egypt, I became hooked on stories about the past. This fascination with “things ancient” led me straight to a bachelor’s and master’s degree in world history at the University of Arizona. I never regretted my decision to major in History, despite occasional concerns voiced by family and friends about being able to find “a proper job” after graduation. In fact, after the events of 9/11 I quickly became one of the most sought-after employees at a major government agency that had hired me as a political analyst. Few folks at my work had any background in Middle Eastern history and I was inundated with calls and questions requesting historical background information and clarification. My history degree not only made me the popular “go to” analyst at work; it had also prepared me to think and analyze sources critically, a pivotal tool for every analyst.
After eight years of interpreting government documents, I decided to quit my job to start a family. While my son napped, I researched and worked on a historical biography about a scandalous Saxon princess, whose tumultuous life filled me with endless curiosity. The many hours spent reading and writing also made me realize that history was my foremost professional passion that I just could not let go. This passion eventually translated into tangible success: my first book, Anna of Saxony: The Scarlet Princess of Orange, was recently published. I am also teaching history at Northwest Florida State College, where I hope to instill the same analytical tools and love of history into my students that I once received at the University of Arizona from my very dedicated professors.