A degree to lead you where you want to go.

If you’re fascinated by the past, Mercyhurst’s Thomas B. Hagen Department of History can help prepare you for a successful future whether you choose to study traditional history, public history and museum studies, documentary filmmaking, or history paired with secondary education as a path to teaching. The unique and individually tailored aspects of this program will equip you with the abilities to conduct thorough research; to analyze and weigh facts; and to produce sound and eloquent conclusions both orally and in writing.

History majors leave Mercyhurst ready to pursue a wide-range of career paths in teaching, research, journalism, law, public service, or museums and historic sites, among many others. Whatever career you pursue post-graduation, a Mercyhurst history degree will prepare you for the challenges of today’s job market. Students without a concrete career goal in mind are guided to their passions through interactions with dedicated faculty, internships, service opportunities and the Senior Capstone experience.

Fast Facts

  • We try to explore historical sites within the states and abroad as often as possible. We’ve traveled from Pittsburgh, PA, all the way to Rome, Italy, and many places in-between

  • Many of our majors choose to teach history at the high school level. Recent graduates have secured positions with schools in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland and Virginia

  • We help facilitate student internships all over the United States and abroad. Our students have interned at such prestigious sites as the Gettysburg National Battlefield, Historic Mount Vernon Gardens and Estate, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Petrie Museum of Egyptology in London

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate an ability to consider, and determine a position on, an historical problem critically.
  • Students will demonstrate a broad understanding of the general characteristics and key developments of major periods of United States, European, and non-western history.
  • Students will demonstrate proficiency with historical sources of information.
  • Students will demonstrate proficiency and maximum fluency in communicating historical knowledge and arguments orally and in writing.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the cultural construction of race, gender, ethnicity and nature in history.
  • Students will demonstrate essential knowledge of material culture scholarship.
  • Students will exhibit an essential understanding of the many dimensions of collecting, preserving and interpreting history for the public.


Students experience a journey of a lifetime, setting sail for two weeks on the reconstructed replica of the 19th century warship that sailed and fought during the 1813 Battle of Lake Erie.


Students traveled Erie’s streets, photographing the city’s historical buildings and gathering oral histories from local experts. These students contributed to the first countywide survey of historic buildings in more than three decades.


Every year, history students are involved in special celebrations such as Women’s History Month and Black History Month. These occasions emphasize the importance of considering many voices while studying history.

What Some of Our Graduates are Doing!


Ryan Maloney, Teacher, (2013), Kennedy Catholic High School, Hermitage, PA

Elizabeth Eidnier, (2012), Teacher, Teach For America, Cleveland, OH

Meghan Keener (2012), Teacher, Fairview High School, Fairview Park, OH

Keven Gregg, Teacher, (2012), Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District, Charlotte, NC

Anthony Demarco, (2011), Teacher, Indian River Charter High School, Vero Beach, FL

John Baranowski, Teacher, (2010) Fairfax County School District, Fairfax, VA

Nick Johnson, (2009), Teacher, St. Mary’s County School District, St. Mary’s, MD

Kimberly Damcott, (2004), Teacher, Millcreek  School District, Erie, PA


Beth McMullen, (2009), Development Associate Director, Heinz History Center.

Bethany Canfield, (2007), Historian, West Virginia Historic Preservation Office.

Alyssa Magnone, (2011), Historical Archaeologist, Lubbock Lake [TX] National Historic

Carolyn Carlins, (2012) Education/Interpretation Landmark, Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh, PA

Emma Simmons, (2013), Intern, Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, Pittsburgh, PA

Amanda Stafford (2013): Interpretive Staff, Museum of Innovation and Science, Schenectady, NY

Kaitlin Ammon (2008): Director, Sam Bell Maxey Historic Site, Paris, Texas

Annette Kluding (2006): Director, Maritime Museum of Sandusky, Ohio

Historic Preservation:

Steve Bukowski, (2012) Director, Interpretive Services, Thinking Outside the Square, Buffalo, NY

Kayann Warner, (2014), Preservation Assistant, Wise Preservation Planning LLC, Erie, PA


Elizabeth Kostrencic, (2011), Visitor Services, United States Capitol Building, Washington, DC

Erin Hramada, (1995), Historian, United States House of Representatives, Washington, DC

Nick Stolar, (2013), Officer, Pennsylvania State Police

Legal Profession:

Corrie Thearle, (2006), Attorney, Juvenile Division of Alleghany County Office of Conflict Counsel, Pittsburgh, PA

Brian Cagle, (2005), Attorney, Pepicelli, Youngs & Youngs, Meadville, PA

Patrick Ebner (2005), Attorney at Law, Steuer, Escovar, Berk & Brown


Zac Ufnar, (2007), National Recruitment Coordinator, Lasallian Volunteers, Washington, DC

Adrienne Houseman, Direct Support Specialist, Lakeshore Community Services, Erie, PA

John Hermann, Jr., (2015), Organizer, AmeriCorps VISTA, Syracuse, NY

Kylie McCormick (2013): Director of Youth and Family Ministries, First Presbyterian Church, Pasadena, CA.


Megan Rulli (2008) Farm Manager, Piney Mountain Orchard, Gardners, PA

Melora Whalen, (2012), Client Service Representative, Foundation Software, Cleveland, OH

Austin Ewing, (2010), Product Owner, MxToolBox, Web Data Analysis, Austin, TX

Tori Pepicello, (2011), Traffic Manager, Culmulus Broadcast Media, Erie, PA

Holly Krieser, (2012), Regulatory Specialist, Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals, Richmond, VA


Chuck Will, (2008), Owner, Afton Landscape Supply, Erie, PA

Nicholas DePalma, (2009), Owner, Oliver Street Bakery, North Tonawanda, NY


Courtney Drennen, (2009), Assistant Coach, Pennsylvania State University, Women’s Ice Hockey Team

Ashley Harper (2011), Graduate Assistant Coach, Stevenson University Women’s Hockey Team

Thurman Schaetzle (2011): Assistant Coach, Gannon University Men's Basketball Team

Higher Education:

Allan Downey, (2007), PhD, Academic Associate in Indigenous Studies at the McGill University Institute for the Study of Canada (MISC), Montreal, Canada

Angela Phillips (2008): International Student Admissions Counselor, Mercyhurst University

Eric Buetikofer (2007): Director of Military and Veteran Affairs, University of Toledo

Contact Us

Benjamin Scharff, Ph.D.
Chair, Thomas B. Hagen Department of History
Office: Preston 118
Phone: 814-824-2326
Email: bscharff@mercyhurst.edu