Department of History

José A. Fernández Montes de Oca

Advisor: Lara Putnam
Doctoral Thesis: Jamaica in the age of Development: Petitions, Small Farming, and Agricultural Planning, 1895-1972
Date of PhD: 2020
Current Position: Assistant Professor, University of Costa Rica

After graduating from Pitt's History Department in fall 2020, I started teaching Early Modern History and Caribbean History at the University of Costa Rica. At the UCR, I also work as a researcher for the Cátedra de Estudios de África y el Caribe, studying colonial and postcolonial development initiatives in the British Caribbean. I have come to appreciate all the work I did in seminars, comprehensive exams, and writing my dissertation as fundamental to my professional growth over the years. It has become evident how Pitt equipped me with a broad intellectual toolkit to assume the many challenges and responsibilities after graduate school. From all the things I learned at Pitt, one of the most valuable experiences that stands out as fundamental for my professional growth was to work as a teaching assistant in several courses outside my area of expertise. In addition, I had the opportunity to develop and teach my own course during a summer semester. The challenge that this entailed gave me the maturity and pedagogical tools necessary daily in the workplace. It is safe to say that at Pitt, I developed the skills that now informed my academic performance, both inside and outside the classroom.