- Name: Laura Guebert
- Year: Junior
- Major: History with an English Literature minor
- Hometown: Herrin, IL
- Quirky Fact: My favorite TV show is M*A*S*H
- Favorite thing to eat on campus: White chicken chili at Starbooks
- Best movie you’ve seen recently: Nerve
- Favorite movie: Secret Life of Walter Mitty
- Best book you’ve read recently: Days of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
- Favorite book: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- What you like to do on campus: Hang out in Elizabeth lobby
Q & A:
Tell us about yourself:
I am a junior from Southern Illinois, more specifically, the Carbondale area. I came to Murray in 2014; Murray was always my first choice, and thankfully, where I ended up. I went to a public high school and a Catholic grade school, so, I got to know both sides of the school system. I studied abroad last year in Regensburg, Germany, and I would go back in a heartbeat. I intend to study abroad again on a program to Berlin in May of next year, and I am extremely impatient and excited for it. Another thing about me is that I love to read and write.
What made you come to Murray State?
For me, one of the biggest incentives was that I knew I wanted to go to Regensburg two years before I went. Regensburg is one of the biggest exchange programs that Murray offers. I also really like the residential college set up because of how community oriented it is, as opposed to just a place to sleep at night. It’s a fun place to come back to each day, and it’s where many of my friends are. The intramurals were also a big draw; however, I haven’t had much time to participate because of how crazy my schedule has been lately.
Who have you enjoyed working with?
My mentor here is Dr. Pizzo of the History Department. He has been absolutely amazing, and I have been working with him since my very first semester at Murray. One of the most interesting things I have studied with him thus far is the Nazis, due to my interest in Germany. He has been so helpful and encouraging, which is one of the reasons that I have taken six classes with him and hope to eventually take more. He is actually the one that inspired me to become a history major.
Who inspires you in life?
Dr. Pizzo is definitely one of the main people that inspire me. I mean, if I could have his job and do it as well as he, then I would consider my life to have been really worthwhile. My old English teacher in high school, Ms. Hickman, is someone I consider to be a saint among mortals, and if I had stuck with the English route, I would have absolutely loved to become someone like her. Even though English is no longer my major, she still inspires me every day because she really knows her stuff and does it well. She is also really personable and has been like a second mother to me in many ways. My mom of course, is a huge inspiration to me. She’s a pretty cool lady that has really been there for me. She doesn’t take flak from anyone and is a really strong woman.
What made you choose the major you did?
I’ve always loved English and the stories that it tells as well as the creative process of writing. But I also always liked history. I find people fascinating, and I’ve always loved that history kind of combines my two great loves, people and all their quirks and turns them into stories—because there are some really interesting stories buried in all the little corners of the world. I’d like to be a female Indiana Jones, and history is the clearest path to that.
Fun story actually, when I was in Regensburg, we went to Berlin for about half a week. There is this teacher that, though he didn’t go with us on this particular trip, he has been to Berlin many times. He was telling us about the Olympic stadium, from the ’36 Olympics, and where it was in Berlin. If you get to take a tour and go into the elevator which takes you to the very top, there is an elevator operator there. If you ask him to stop in the middle, (which he usually will) there is a room there that is filled with old Nazi propaganda and artifacts. There are hidden treasures all over if you just know where to look.
Have you done any work related to your major?
Like I mentioned previously, Dr. Pizzo has been my mentor ever since I came here and we do research together on trends of empire, like the Nazis and the Kaiserreich, as well as other German-related points of research. I find it all so fascinating, such as the fact that WWII is talked about in an isolated bubble, and not really outside of the context of WWII. Whereas I want to talk about it in terms of global history and its after effects even up to today.
I also presented last semester at Scholars Week, as a kind of preemptive of the research I have gathered thus far.
I hope to one day be a history professor at the university level. I also want to travel a lot in the future, and I’m not too picky about where I end up—whether in travels or in life.