Loyola University Chicago

Department of History


Senior Highlight: Alexa Lindsley

Alexa Lindsley, '17, is this year's winner of the Lietz Award for Outstanding Historical Scholarship. She is also the President of Phi Alpha Theta. Public Media Assistant Marie Pellissier sat down with Alexa and asked her about her time at Loyola. 

MP: What drew you to studying history at Loyola? 

AL: Ever since I was in middle school, history has been my favorite subject. Particularly since my mother was born and raised in Italy, I have always had a special interest in Italian studies, specifically ancient Rome. However, as I entered college, my friends questioned the practicality of a history major and I was advised to make it a minor. With history as a minor, I was very excited to be enrolled in history courses. I will never forget my first history class. The first class of my undergraduate career, which was history 101 at 8:15 am, was with Father McManamon. Combined with Father McManamon’s engaging teaching style and the interesting course material, the class quickly became my favorite of the semester. The passion and excitement I felt when I walked into class made me realize that history was destined to be my major. For my Univ 101 project, I interviewed Father McManamon, which after speaking with him, I decided to go with my instinct and change my major to history. It was one of the greatest decisions I made at Loyola, and has allowed me to engage in a field of study I am extremely passionate about. The department as a whole has wonderful professors, and I have gained considerable knowledge and wisdom from them over the years.

MP: How has studying history impacted your time at Loyola?


AL: Over the course of my undergraduate years, I have met some of my closest friends and greatest mentors as a history major. My involvement with Phi Alpha Theta, Loyola’s history honor society, brought me closer to other history students and formed a great sense of community. History, in general, is such an amazing subject that most people do not realize its impact and importance in different disciplines. The knowledge I have gained in my history courses has allowed me to make many insights in other classes. By studying history, one can begin to see events through a new perspective such as realizing implicit biases, different sides of the stories and truths to situations. Studying history is of the utmost importance to explain the past, and to quote George Santayana ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’


MP: What's your favorite memory of the history department? Who or what class has had the most impact on you? 

AL: I have had so many wonderful classes and memories through my years at Loyola, that it is difficult to choose a specific memory.  Some of my favorite courses and memories at Loyola were Renaissance with Father McManamon, Pompeii and Herculaneum with Doctor Dossey, and History of Chicago with Doctor Gorn. Each one of these courses taught me many valuable lessons, and each professor’s unique teaching style is something I hope to emulate one day. Specifically, some of my favorite memories were the class debates in Renaissance, discussions in Pompeii and when Doctor Gorn would tell our class stories. Other favorite memories of the history department included walking through the department, discussing Phi Alpha Theta matters with Doctor Searcy, and seeing all of my past professors and catching up. The history department has always been such a welcoming place, filled with great people and friendly faces.   

MP: What are your post-graduate plans? 
AL: In the fall, I will be attending graduate school at Loyola for my Masters in Higher Education. I plan to work with undergrad students helping them navigate their college careers. In the future, I hope to pursue my PhD in history and realize my dream of becoming a history professor like my many mentors at Loyola. I owe so many of my accomplishments to their great leadership and guidance. I hope one day be able to provide my students with the same level of excellence and continue their legacy.