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David Rugowski, '80, MS, CAADC, CRC, LCPC

David Rugowski, a Rehabilitation Counselor Senior, focused on European history while at UWO, and has since worked in both marketing and counseling. Read on to know how he parlayed a study of history into two seemingly unrelated fields.

My name is David Rugowski and I am a proud graduate of UW-Oshkosh with degrees in the field of History (BS in 1980 with an emphasis in European History; MA in 1984 with an emphasis in Historical Services).  Although I have never worked in the field of history, I believe my studies in this field have been invaluable to me in my professional career.  The skills that I obtained in these academic pursuits have been used everyday in my career.  I have learned that the study of history is so much more than an examination of events and corresponding dates.  The skills I refer to are the ability to collate ideas; conceptualize thoughts; complete effective research; write with brevity and clarity; identify sources of information; recognize trends and patterns; and, gain an appreciation for humanity.  Most important, the skill set that I obtained in my history studies have been transferrable skills which I have taken with me to the various positions I have held and have used these skills on a daily basis.  Further, my studies in history have proved to be a strong foundation for my career and additional academic pursuits.

Upon completion of my MA degree in 1984, I obtained a position as Director of Marketing in a healthcare organization. After several years, I began doing consulting work in the healthcare field working with physicans’ offices in rural settings (that served high numbers of elderly and financially poor patients) to become federally certified Rural Health Clinics.  My employers for both of these positions informed me that I was hired specifically because of the skill set I had obtained in my history studies.  As time passed, I decided on a career change which caused me to pursue another Master's degree.  I obtained an MS degree from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in Rehabilitation Counseling in 1997.  As a point of interest, my MS program entrance review committee informed me that I was given approval to enter this graduate study program based upon my portrayed skill set obtained through my history studies even though I had not previously completed academic work in the counseling field. Subsequently, I have worked at a local hospital for 17+ years as a substance abuse and mental health counselor.  Once again, my skill set obtained from my history studies has served me well whether taking patient histories, engaging patients in individual or group therapy sessions, or, writing concise progress notes on patient activities.  Most recently, my current position is as Rehablitation Counselor Senior with the State of Illinois in which I work with persons with various disablilities and assist them with gaining entrance to the job market.  I continue to maintain the credentials of LCPC (state Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor), CRC (nationally Certified Rehabilitation Counselor), and, CAADC (state Certified Advanced Alcohol and other Drug Counselor).

I have recently turned age 60 and now have one eye focused on retirement.  As I review my professional career and the academic pursuits which have helped me throughout, I believe that my history studies served as the foundation which enabled me to have a varied and successful career.  I highly endorse the study of history (or any of the humanities) as a basis upon which to build a career.

by Kercher, Stephen E last modified Apr 30, 2014 11:23 AM