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American Studies

American Studies

Katie Petz, BA, ’12

Katie Petz is a doing exactly what she wanted to do when she graduated from Keene State with a dual major in Elementary Education and American Studies – she’s a Special Education Paraprofessional in Hollis, New Hampshire. Knowing she wanted a dual major, something she could combine with Elementary Education, Katie Petz considered both English and History. In American Studies, she found a blend of the two, and more.

Katie Petz, BA, ’12

Every day, I use the skills I learned decoding and analyzing literature with my students to help them better understand what they are reading.”

Katie Petz 2014, American Studies/Education

She’s convinced that American Studies can enhance the education of any student, regardless of their major.

Petz took a particular interest in the history and culture of American Indians, and she approached the subject through literature. “What excited me was that I read the stories, saw the true history within them and talked about what I read and what I felt. I questioned and explored ideas with my teachers and classmates in safe, open forum classes – a perfect fit for me. And I liked that no two professors are alike and no two classes are taught the same way from semester to semester. It’s a great program for students who are willing to embrace a wild ride of knowledge, and who will work hard to involve themselves in classroom discussions

Justin Churchill, BA, ‘11

After graduating from the American Studies Program at Keene State, Justin pursued a career as a sports writer, working for a several print and online publications. His work has been focused on college and prep school hockey for New England Hockey Journal. He also covers action as a regional beat reporter in the American Hockey League. Away from the ice he writes about his true love – soccer—covering the New England Revolution and Major League Soccer for

Churchill credits the American Studies Program with giving him a broader view of the world and his surroundings.

“The American Studies professors helped me come up with my own conclusions through discussion, debate, and a great set of core classes. My very train of thought constantly evolved in its own unique way, inspiring me to make a difference in my postgraduate life. No program at Keene State would be better for students who really want to make a difference following their undergraduate career.”

He chose American Studies as a major because he liked the variety of careers it would prepare him to enter, and he chose to follow his passion. “My career as a sports journalist arose from the great deal of writing experience I gained through the American Studies BA. It takes me all over the country and it’s wonderful to do something I love as a career.”

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American Studies
Anne Freisinger Cucchi
Administrative Assistant

Department Chair
Dr. Michael Antonucci

Admissions Office
229 Main Street
Keene, New Hampshire 03435


December 19, 2017 –

In many ways, Ben Wimett ’08 is a typical 33-year-old. He lives in an apartment complex, has a job he loves, and dotes on his dog, Root Beer. In his free time, he likes to hike, fish, and hunt. Three years ago, he snagged a 12-point buck in Pennsylvania.


May 3, 2017 –

The winner of this year’s Robin Dizard American Studies Award, given to a junior or senior American studies major with a grade point average of 3.5 or more, found American studies to be the perfect match for her other major, elementary education.

“There’s a great overlap with education,” says Adriana…

April 14, 2017 –

American Studies major Zach Benton, who bills himself as a “one-man-band, songwriter, producer, arranger, and singer,” has been performing and recording professionally since he graduated from Keene State in 2010. And not without considerable success: His extended play (EP) recording Mister Roberts’ Epiphany was followed by his long play (LP)…

September 21, 2016 –

The powerful story of Waitstill and Martha Sharp – a Unitarian minister and his wife from Wellesley, Massachusetts, who left their safe life of comfort to spend two dangerous years helping hundreds of political dissidents and Jewish refugees flee the Nazis at the beginning of World War II – would…

August 10, 2015 –

An outstanding student with the highest GPA in the American Studies program, Hannah Legacy was chosen for the Robin Dizard American Studies Award . The major seems to suit her perfectly. “My favorite thing about American Studies is that it’s such a broad field of study," she explained. "It encourages…