Alexander Stewart ‘18
Born and raised in West Islip, history major Alexander Stewart ‘18 did not have to search far to learn about Stony Brook. “I heard that it was a good school,” he said. “When I graduated from high school, it was the only school I applied to.”
Alex came to the College of Arts and Sciences as a Biology major on the pre-med track with hopes of becoming a doctor, having heard from everyone that it was the “safe” career choice. After a bad first semester, Alex decided to switch his major to history, feeling it was important to enjoy his studies as well as excel in them. Sure enough, his GPA rose significantly!
In his second semester, Alex took Department of History Professor Janis Mimura’s class on Modern Japan. She became one of his favorite history professors, with whom he has stayed in touch ever since, not only to get guidance from her about his own career path, but also to get to know her more as a person and as an academic. Professor Mimura continued to be a really helpful center of support and knowledge throughout his studies, he said.
Alex plans to become a history teacher. He is passionate about history, especially because it has implications on the present and the future. He hopes to teach high school students. “High school is when kids learn to think critically,” Alex says. “That is why I feel that high school is a really important time for instilling in students the importance of history.”
Not only a full-time student, Alex is also a member of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve. Out of all the branches of the military, he picked the Marines specifically because it included the most rigorous training, and he wanted to push himself to his mental and physical limits. However, he says that balancing military and school life is not as hard as a lot of students may think. “It can be a challenge at times but it is ultimately rewarding,” he said. Alex credits the Reserves with helping him become more time-efficient, saying that he is now much better at planning and getting things done.
Outside of the Reserves, Alex has been employed at Harley Davidson since he graduated high school, and he is currently looking into volunteering at the Intensive English Center with hopes of teaching in Asia after graduation. He plans to earn his Masters in teaching.