Colton Babbitt

by ARTS AND LETTERS | Monday, Jun 10, 2019

MAJOR: History

DEGREE:Masters in History

CURRENT STATUS: PhD Student at the University of Mississippi

FIRST JOB: I bussed tables at Colton’s Steakhouse in Benton, AR when I was 16 years old. I smelled like steak all summer.

BIGGEST CHALLENGES: The greatest challenge I faced at FAU was balancing the demands of rigorous coursework and researching/writing a thesis with the responsibility of teaching. Fortunately, I had my wife, Tessa, supporting and encouraging me throughout the process; I could not have finished without her.

BEST FAU MEMORY: Although I can think of countless wonderful moments at FAU, the day I defended my thesis was perhaps the best. After months of work, it was both rewarding and relieving to hear that my advisors had approved my final thesis.


I was initially drawn to history for the interesting stories. As a M.A. student, I read C. Vann Woodward’s The Burden of Southern History, which both helped me to conceptualize the responsibility of historians and inspired me to research and write about the U.S. South.

WHAT DID YOU ENJOY ABOUT IT?: The collegiality among the faculty and the students in my cohort made it a pleasure to study at FAU. We came from truly diverse cultural and ideological backgrounds and shared in countless engaging, intellectual conversations. That is the culture of the department, and I was fortunate to have been a part of it.

WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE VALUE OF A HISTORY DEGREE?: Studying history forces us to think critically and deeply about the world around us and to consider its complexity. For me, the history degree opened the door for a funded position in the PhD in history program at the University of Mississippi and prepared me to succeed there.

FAVORITE BOOK: The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury and Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis

PERSONAL: My wife and I enjoy traveling and spending time with family in Arkansas