Graduate Profile: David Hensley
David Hensley has been interested in history ever since he was a small child, and his education at Alma College allowed him to pursue it professionally.
The 2004 alumnus, who is a graduate student at Pennsylvania State University, recently spent a year researching in Belgium for his doctoral dissertation, which he is now writing.
Hensley credits much of his success to his professors at Alma, especially history professor Patrick Furlong, who served as his academic advisor.
“Dr. Furlong was extremely important in my development,” he says. “He consistently gave me good career advice, even when it wasn’t always what I wanted to hear!”
But the inspiration he received at Alma hardly ends here. Hensley says in addition to Furlong, French professor Julie Arnold inspired him to apply for a Fulbright Scholarship, which he received.
“She almost single-handedly taught me the French language,” he says. “She also led the Spring Term course to Québec, which spurred not only my desire to travel, but also my interest in studying French outside of France.”
For his Fulbright Scholarship, Hensley studied at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium, where he conducted independent research and took courses. He says it was an experience of a lifetime.
“It was somewhat different than I expected—not that I really knew what to expect!” he says. “I think the Fulbright, at least for grantees straight out of undergraduate degrees, is largely about personal growth and discovery of a different culture as it is about academic achievement.”