William Minnick
Orange City, Iowa
William Minnick

History as a way forward

Growing up, William loved going to museums and was intrigued by characters, events and stories of the past. He did genealogical research on his family and those of friends. After attending an intriguing NWC history class taught by Dr. Robert Winn while a senior in high school, he knew he wanted to major in history at Northwestern. Also majoring in public relations, he competes in the throws events for the Red Raider track and field team.

Looking for truth
The skills that I have learned in my history courses are transferable across many fields. My professors have instilled the importance of research and sorting through information to create an accurate sense of it. One of my favorite ways of thinking about history comes from a Dr. Kugler class. He described history as a swamp with debris floating around. As students of history, we are mucking through the swamp, pulling and sifting through debris, trying to piece together a narrative that is the most accurate representation of the true narrative.

Skilled guides
Because of our class sizes, we develop a real connection with the professor during class time. Their passion for the subject is evident, and they push us to think outside the box and challenge ourselves. The history faculty are also extremely accomplished in their field, having written books, articles and lectured on their specific focus in history. You know that you are learning from the best when you are learning from them. Outside of class, they take interest in you as a person, even inviting you and your fellow classmates over for dinner.

Practical applications
The history major at NWC has taught me how to write and piece different strands of information into a cohesive narrative that supports a certain claim. And it has taught me to appreciate the complexity of our world and its history. We are all fallen people, and history portrays that. Through my studies, I have seen sin in mankind’s past and how God has worked throughout history, as well as how people of all walks of life have worshipped him and found hope in his message.

Out of the archives

I did a summer internship at the National Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque, Iowa, writing social media posts and content for the website. One larger project I worked on was writing a blog post about a pioneer family from the Dubuque area whose former chateau in France was being sold. The research I did in the museum’s archives allowed me to create an engaging and interactive narrative history of the family and this grand house in France. It was amazing to see how the skills I learned as a history major benefited and transferred over into another field.

So much more
Besides an education, I have had so many different experiences at Northwestern. Through my job in the library archives, through sports and the various clubs I’m involved in, I’ve been able to assume leadership roles, compete for the Raiders and meet many new people. Each area of experience has given me good friends who push to make me and the world around them a better place. Experiences like those have helped me grow into a better person.