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GS:       Where are you from?

JB:        Huntington Beach, California.  I have lived in Alabama on and off since 2002.

GS:       What degree will you receive and when?

JB:        I received a B.A. in Art History in 2008.  I am currently working on an M.A. in Art History.  My anticipated graduation is August 2010.

GS:       How long have you been at UAB?

JB:        I transferred in Spring 2007 and finished my B.A. in art history in May 2008.  Started the M.A. program in Fall 2008.

GS:       What is your research?

JB:        My specialty fields are Renaissance, Baroque, and 20th-century art, but my main research is in the Spanish Renaissance.  I am writing my thesis on a Spanish art collector, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, whose collection has not been studied before.  He was a diplomat and was an integral part of the Council of Trent, but he has not yet been studied outside of his political and literary accomplishments.  I will be examining his art collection and its relevance to the collection of material goods in the Renaissance.

GS:       What made you choose UAB for your graduate studies?

JB:        I really enjoyed the undergraduate program.  The professors are always willing to help and you can really get one-on-one with them.  I decided to stick around and work with them more.

GS:       Have you received any awards or honors?

JB:        I received both a Graduate Assistantship in Art History as well as the Klaus Urban Departmental Scholarship for this year (2009-2010).  I was also chosen to speak at the 2008-2009 Graduate Symposium in Art History.  Hopefully I will get to speak again at the symposium this year!  As an undergrad, I graduated cum laude and I received 3rd place in my session at this year’s Graduate Student Research Days.

GS:       What has been your most rewarding experience at UAB?

JB:        Working as a Graduate Assistant I have been able to work in all aspects of the art history department.  My ultimate goal is to obtain a PhD and teach at a university level and the assistantship has allowed me to get a lot of teaching experience.

GS:       Who was your greatest influence here at UAB and why?

JB:        Dr. Katherine McIver, who is my thesis advisor.  Her fields are Renaissance and Baroque [art] so I have worked with her the most.  She has been great at pushing me to get involved in the department and, as a result, I have been able to gain a great deal of experience in the field.

GS:       What is your motivation in your academics/research?

JB:        I really love researching and the discovery of something new.  The drive to keep finding something that no one else has studied before is very motivating.

GS:       What are your plans after graduating and for the future?

JB:        Hopefully I can get into a PhD program, but I would like to work for a year or so and pay down my student loans a bit first, to be honest.  I would ideally love to teach but as long as I get to keep researching in the field then I will be happy.

GS:       Is there anything else you would like to say?

JB:        Just a big thank you for all of the opportunities I have had while at UAB.  I have heard horror stories from people in art history programs at other schools and I don’t think I would have had the chances I have had it not been for the people working in the department here.

Jamie’s advice for other graduate students:

If you really want to do something then just do it; don’t listen to what other people say.  When I told people I was going to school for art history they usually suggested a vocational trade instead, saying that it was more useful.  I knew I wouldn’t be happy doing that though.  If you love it then it is worth it.

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