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Recent Alumni Spotlight

Ashton Dubey (Weinberg '16)

Ashton DubeyFor my thesis, I researched grassroots conservative activism against the Texas State Board of Education in the 1960s. In particular, I focused on activists’ protests over supposedly anti-capitalist, anti-religious, and multicultural content in history and biology textbooks. I completed my research with support from an Undergraduate Research Grant—which allowed me to visit the state archives in Austin, Texas—and my advisor Professor Keith Woodhouse.

After graduation, I moved to D.C. for a job at the U.S. Department of Justice. As a paralegal in the Securities and Financial Fraud Unit, I catalog, review, and produce evidence, draft outgoing documents, and keep detailed notes for attorneys and agents. With over two years of work experience and a fuller appreciation of what attorneys actually do, I’ve realized that law is the right track for me. I’ll be attending law school this fall.

I would encourage anyone who is considering it to write a senior thesis. The effort I put into my thesis helped prepare me for what I’m doing at the DOJ—as well as the work I imagine I’ll be doing during and after law school. It can be stressful and demoralizing to locate and read through thousands of documents only to find little, if anything, of relevance. I learned that in historical research—as in law—you must juggle ambitious theories with an earnest, unbiased, and thorough reading of mostly useless evidence. But it is all worth it for the sense of discovery and accomplishment that you’ll feel if and when your tedious work leads you to a legitimate narrative.