Spring 2020 Featured Alumnus
Marc Molina, Class of 2019
History Ph.D. student, University of Texas at El Paso

On February 14, 2020, Marc returned to A&M-San Antonio to present “Cherry Street Blues: Tracing San Antonio’s Black Music History,” as part of the university’s celebration of Black History Month. Marc previously completed this research during an internship with the San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum. Dr. Amy Porter, Professor of History, sat down with Marc to talk about his doctoral program and reflect on his time at A&M-SA.

How did the history program at Texas A&M University-San Antonio prepare you for your graduate program?

The transition from an undergraduate to a doctoral program was sharp, but my studies at Texas A&M University-San Antonio (A&M-SA) prepared me as well as any institution for the challenge. I went in with a familiarity to a significant amount of the theory and historiography relevant to my course work at UTEP and feel confident sharing my voice in class discussions. The history professors at A&M-SA are recognized around the nation, and I feel lucky to have studied under them.

What are the benefits of studying history as an undergraduate?

Pursuing a major in history offers you important skills and a powerful lens for approaching a diverse set of careers and issues. Sorting through complex problems, understanding their continuity and change over time, and offering synthetic analyses and empathetic judgments are key components of the historical discipline and valuable tools for both the job market and life, broadly. Whether you want to teach, continue to graduate programs, or seek other careers in the humanities and elsewhere, a history degree at A&M-SA is a great medium to accomplish many goals.

What are you studying in your graduate program?

Currently, I am interested in environmental history topics in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands – particularly the ways in which food and agriculture inform our understanding of culture, society, and identity. My dissertation focuses on the Amistad Reservoir, a bi-national dam and water reservoir on the U.S.-Mexico border north of Del Rio, Texas. Using this as a launching point, this work will provide a longue durée history of the Tamaulipan mezquital bioregion from the first indigenous inhabitants through the creation of the reservoir in the mid-20th century.