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.