William N. Connelly III

Briefly describe your applied learning experience: 

My project revolved around the numerous issues with chemical weapons disposal in the United States. I conducted various methods of research including personal interviews and archival research. In addition, as part of this project I also toured one of the areas where remediation is currently ongoing in Spring Valley, Washington D.C., and got to experience what many soldiers go through by spending a brief moment in a gas chamber while being exposed to CS gas (tear gas).

How did you get involved in this applied learning experience and what did you hope to gain from it?: 

I have always been interested in the anomaly of chemical warfare and wanted to go beyond what was offered through regular UNCW classes; the honors project gave me that opportunity. My goals were twofold, one was to gain experience in my disipline by engaing in appropriate research methods used by experts in my field and the other was to add to the canon of research that has been done on this topic.

What did you gain from this experience? What was challenging? What did you learn?: 

I actually learned a lot from this experience not only regarding the craft of history but also regarding professional research methods. This has easily been the most challenging project I have ever attempted, but the rewards were well worth the struggle. I learned alot not only about myself but my chosen topic. Most importantly, through my research I made a connection regarding chemical warfare that has not been made by any other previous historians. In doing so, it showed me the value of what I have learned through the UNCW History department and how much I have grown as a historian.

In what way will this experience make you a more viable candidate when you are seeking a job or applying for graduate study?: 

This will make me a more valuable candidate for graduate study by showing that I have engaged in advanced research methods and know how to keep up with the rigors of graduate level work. I also feel that the successful completion of this project will show potential employers that I am able to effectively communicate both written and orally.