Steve Carter

Professor of History

“I try to teach my students that they are part of a larger world. I want them to feel their place in the world that was created by those who went on before them.”

Steve Carter says his path to becoming a history professor took a number of “twists and turns.”

“I began at a community college with the intentions of transferring to a larger university to major in computer science,” he said. “After switching majors a couple of times, I ended up graduating from Brigham Young University in Utah with a degree in advertising/communications.

“I worked in the field for a few years, but realized my passion was the study of history.”

Carter returned to school to pursue a history degree.

“I determined that I wanted to be a professor at a small university which meant I would have to earn a master’s and then a doctorate degree,” he said.

Carter received his M.A. degree in history from Pittsburg State University in Kansas and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas. He joined the faculty at Henderson as he was completing his doctorate.

“Henderson was really the ideal sized university for me,” he said. “The smaller class sizes appealed to me and I liked getting to know the students on a personal level.”

Teaching has proven very satisfying for Carter.

“I love sharing knowledge with the students,” he said. “It’s so rewarding when students make connections between my class and their own life experiences.

“I try to bring in relevant ideas and relate what I’m lecturing on to the students’ backgrounds. I discuss how events that happened decades or centuries ago impact today’s world. I also like to bring in first-hand experiences that connect to learning.”

European history is Carter’s favorite category.

“I have studied French, British, Russian and German history,” he said. “Over the years, I have enjoyed teaching courses on both 19th Century Europe, 20th Century Europe, and The French Revolution and Napoleon. I also enjoy teaching courses on World Wars I and II.”

Carter encourages his students to “enjoy the journey.”

“I would advise students to explore a variety of areas of history,” he said. “Learn of the diversity of peoples, their institutions, their religious beliefs, their intellectual thoughts.

“I would also advise against getting pigeonholed into one area of history or one career in history.”

Carter said he is often asked about the job prospects for students with a history degree. He said teaching is one of the primary career fields, but there are many others, including: research, analysis, museum work, archives and library work.

“A history degree is also a good degree for those planning on going to graduate school,” Carter said. “Many who have a history degree go on to work on a graduate degree in history, political science and law. Some have even earned an M.B.A.”

When he’s not in the classroom, Carter enjoys working on a 1965 Mustang convertible that his parents passed down to him.

“Over the past several years, I have been working on restoring it,” he said. “I try to do as much work as possible on my own. However, I have limited skills so I have to get professionals to do the major work.

“I do considerable research on the car to keep it as close to original condition as possible.”

Department:
Social Sciences

Contact Info:


Degree and School:
Ph.D., History, University of Arkansas

Research:
- Minority religions in the third Reich

I've been at Henderson since:
2001

Courses