Student Spotlight: Agosto first to complete joint program in law, history at Nebraska

Photo Credit: Genesis Agosto
by CAS MarComm Tue, 05/03/2022 - 14:08

Genesis Agosto is the first student at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln to complete the Joint J.D./M.A. in History through the College of Law and the Department of History within the College of Arts and Sciences. The program prepares students for public and private sector roles with the knowledge, skills, and background of law and history.

She is co-chair of the Environmental and Agricultural Law Society, president of the Multicultural Legal Society, and a member of the Phi Alpha Theta National History Honors Society.

"Agosto's research demonstrates the marked advantages of merging historical and legal training through the JD/MA program that draws on overlapping expertise among History and College of Law faculty," faculty advisor Katrina Jagodinsky said. "As our inaugural JD/MA student, Agosto displayed tremendous energy and talent, and we're very enthusiastic about the critical contributions she will continue to make throughout her scholarly career."

Q&A with Genesis

Why did you select your program?
I wanted to explore the intersectionality of law and history. It is no surprise that my current research is within the field of critical legal history. It is a lot of fun!

What has been your best experience as a graduate student at Nebraska?
Being a part of the tight-knit community within the university system. I did not know a place so big could be exceptionally close and kind.

Who have been some of your strongest mentors or role models here?
I have had several excellent mentors and role models during my time here, but to name a few: Dr. Katrina Jagodinsky, my faculty advisor in the Department of History; Professor Colleen Medill, Professor Stefanie Pearlman, Professor Richard A. Leiter, Professor Catherine Wilson, and Professor Shoemaker, all faculty members at the College of Law. I would also like to honor the late Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion in the College of Law, Anna W. Shavers, who served as a mentor and a great role model.

Do you have research experience?
I was fortunate to serve as a Schmid Law Library Research Fellow during this past year. I got to work on various legal research projects and refine my legal research skills. I also clerked for two summers at a local immigration firm in Lincoln, Nebraska. In terms of research within the Department of History, my research focused on the United States' relationship with Native American and Puerto Rican women's reproductive politics, particularly involuntary sterilization, under the colonial legal regime.

What are your plans once you have earned the degree?
I will be joining the University of Nebraska College of Law, Schmid Law Library faculty as their new Assistant Professor of Law Library and Reference Librarian.