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Department of History

  • Jeb Butler

Jeb Butler

Jeb is a senior History major in the South Carolina Honors College.

What made USC your college of choice?

Until junior year of high school, USC was not my top choice. My whole perspective of Carolina changed when I personally experienced the charm of USC’s campus on a guided tour. On that tour, I was astonished and intrigued by USC’s history as I was captivated by the small school atmosphere around campus. Afterwards, I was sold on coming to Carolina and nothing could stop me from becoming a Gamecock!

Why did you choose to pursue History at USC?

I chose to study history because I have always been surrounded by it. My father earned his bachelor’s in history and, for as long as I can remember, he has been telling my family about different battles and events from the past. His passion for history is infectious so, when choosing a major, history was the front-runner.

What has been your favorite History course thus far?

As a disclaimer, I want to say that I have enjoyed all of the history courses I have taken at USC. If I had to choose one, it would be HIST 493: The Caesar’s with Dr. Jason Osborne. The class was a blast; Dr. Osborne did a really good job of engaging us with interesting information about the dilemmas and social situations that the early Roman Empire faced. It also doesn’t hurt that I am interested in the tactics and weapons used for warfare in antiquity.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned as a History major? How has it changed your life?

The most valuable thing I’ve learned as a history major is to strive for objectivity by using multiple sources, when available. Oftentimes, this is not the easiest method but it is usually the best. Because of this, I now review information with a critical eye. Rather than blindly trusting the news presented to me, I research the author’s potential bias and the validity of the sources they used while writing their piece.

How do you spend your time outside of the History Department?

When I am not studying history, I spend my time preparing for medical school. This has involved shadowing physicians, working as a peer leader for an organic chemistry class, and completing over 40 hours of science credits. I am also pursuing a minor in Spanish, with the hope of visiting Spain this summer and eventually applying my knowledge of Spanish to the medical field as a translator. When I am not studying, I enjoy spending time with friends & family, reading, playing Frisbee, backpacking, and fly fishing.

What are your plans for the future?

After graduating from USC, I plan to attend medical school where I hope to enter into residency for surgery, cardiology, or emergency medicine. After my career in medicine, I want to earn a master’s, and maybe a Ph.D. in history, so that I can spread my knowledge of the past to future historians.

Favorite Book: 
My favorite book is either A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway or Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.

Favorite Quote: 
My favorite quote is “laugh once a day - because a day without sunshine is like . . . night” from Steve Martin. This always reminds me to find at least one way to laugh and enjoy each day which has helped me through quite a few finals.

More info:

I grew up in Columbia, South Carolina and I graduated from Homeward Education Association in 2015. Since freshman year, I have been actively involved in Shandon College Ministry where I have served in various leadership positions including the elected position of general officer. During the previous two summers, and fall of 2017, I was a peer leader for Dr. George Handy’s Organic Chemistry II class where I served as a lab assistant one summer. I am also involved in resurrecting USC’s chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, a national history honors society. During this year, I have had the privilege to also serve as a Resident Mentor in the Honors Residence Hall.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.