Meet history major Shydee Johnson

Written byAshley McClure-French

“The Department of History, Geography, and Philosophy has taught me scholarly independence, critical thinking, and problem solving.”

Shydee Johnson is a history student minoring in geography at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Shydee Johnson
Eunice, La.

Where I'm From

I came to UL Lafayette from Eunice, La., for the strong academic foundation grounded in tradition, heritage, and culture.

Where I Am

I am a history student staying active in the Honors Program, research, sports, and student organizations on our beautiful campus.

Where I'm Going

I am going to earn my Ph.D. in history and become a professor, with the aim of contributing to the growth of knowledge as it pertains to history.

When UL Lafayette history major Shydee Johnson graduates next year, she will continue her academic career into a Ph.D. program. After that, her goal is to become a professor of history. 

“I chose to study history because this gives me the opportunity to acquire an understanding of people, societies, change, and how societies are shaped through time,” she said. “With this I hope to contribute information that will allow the growth of knowledge as it pertains to history.”

Shydee is also working on her minor in geography.

“I chose geography as my minor due to its close intertwined relationship with history,” she said. “This is best described by W. Gordon East: ‘In studying the physical setting to history, one can understand the strands from which history is woven.’”

Research Experience

Shydee is getting plenty of experience with historical research and preservation at UL Lafayette. She was previously part of the Reflections of Hurricane Harvey exhibit in the Museum on the Move and now she is a research assistant on campus. 

“I am currently in a research assistantship with Dr. Liz Skilton for the history program,” she said. “The research of the Recent Louisiana Disasters Project includes interview transcription and collecting data from businesses, museums, and other places in the south. Interview topics include the 2015 Grand 16 theater shooting in Lafayette, the 2016 flood, and others.

“A few colleagues and I are gathering information in order to document the effects of COVID-19 on these sites,” she said. “This is important because it will contribute to future studies and funding. I enjoy contributing to the scholarly field and giving the locations a voice.”

Making Her Mark

As part of the Honors Program, Shydee has put in over 20 hours of community service and she has received scholarships through the program. But that’s not the only way she has been involved on campus.

“In addition, I am a member of G.L.A.S.S. – Giving Love, Acceptance, Safety & Support and play rugby for UL Lafayette, LSU, and Louisiana Lagniappe,” she said.

Shydee has learned a lot of useful skills from being involved on campus.

“Some of these include leadership and management qualities, digital skills, professionalism, advanced communication, and self-motivation,” she said. “The history and geography department has taught me scholarly independence, critical thinking, and problem solving.”

Shydee’s favorite part about studying here, though, is the campus.

“I believe a beautiful, welcoming campus is the backbone of an enjoyable academic career,” she said. “From the century-old oak trees to Cypress Lake, the wildlife brings the University to life.”

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