Alumni Profiles

Brenda L. (Sohm) Basgall
Assistant Ellis County Attorney
David J. Basgall
Assistant Ellis County Attorney

"We both graduated with master's degrees from the history department of Fort Hays State University in 1997. Prior to that Brenda received a Bachelor of Arts in History in 1995 and David received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy with a minor in History in 1995. We found the faculty at the history department to be enthusiastic and passionate about the topics that they taught. The professors were more than willing to assist in career options and took a genuine interest in our future. The professors became not only our mentors but also our friends. They made history come alive and brought out our own unique interests in history. We both went on to law school at the University of Kansas. The research and writing skills learned from the history program proved invaluable in the study of law. Best of all, we met through the Master of Arts in history program and have been happily married since 1999."


Kelli Getz
Bachelor of Arts in History, 2002
High School Teacher
Quinter, KS

"When I enrolled at FHSU I knew I wanted to be a history teacher, but I had no idea what it would take to prepare me for the profession. The faculty and staff in the history department were exceptional when it came to my education and my future; they went beyond the simple facts given in a textbook by showing me how to apply what I learned in a classroom setting. That, in turn, helped me understand how to present my knowledge to students in a way that would truly make an impression on them. I don't believe relating to students would have been so important to me had I not seen how important it was to my history professors as I earned my degree at FHSU. Their caring and interest in my success allowed me to make the transition from college student to history teacher—one that would prove to be one of the most rewarding decisions of my life."

Best Wishes!


Samantha Harper
Bachelor of Arts in History, 2005
Processing Archivist
McCracken Research Library
Buffalo Bill Historical Center
Cody, WY

"My experiences with the History Program at Fort Hays State University helped me grow as a person. While I always held an interest in History and Museums, I was able to determine my particular field of interest, and train through local internships in the Archives field. Through the interdisciplinary approach of the History Department I also completed a second Bachelor's Degree in Sociology and a Minor in Business Administration. I then completed my Master's Degree in Museum Studies from the University of Kansas. All of these experiences helped me prepare for a career in the museum profession. However, I credit the faculty of Fort Hays State University for providing me with the passion, confidence, and determination necessary to pursue my dreams."