UVU History Alum Pursues Creative Writing in Ireland

UVU History Alum Pursues Creative Writing in Ireland

Becoming a writer and a singer/songwriter isn’t a traditional career path for a history major, but for UVU history alum Debra Fotheringham, it was the perfect fit. “I’ve always been fascinated by the stories of the people in our past,” she said.

Fotheringham has always been interested in music; she plays guitar and a variety of percussion instruments in addition to her singing and songwriting talents. After working as a writer and singer for years, Fotheringham decided to return to school to pursue a bachelor’s degree. “Education is extremely important to me, and I never want to stop learning and growing,” she said.

Fotheringham credits UVU’s small class sizes, individualized education, and caring and passionate professors in the history department for helping ignite her passion for history. “Learning about the history of different cultures and peoples opened me up to varied perspectives and viewpoints, helped me to think outside of my own limited understanding, and become a more compassionate, thoughtful, and open-minded person,” she said. “Earning my degree will always be something that I am very proud and grateful to have been able to do.”

After graduating from UVU, Fotheringham continued to pursue her love of music, releasing her third solo album, touring as a solo artist, and performing with her band, The Lower Lights. “Our Christmas concerts at Kingsbury Hall have become a very popular local tradition,” she said. She’s also worked as a studio vocalist for a variety of projects, including the Grammy-nominated album “Atmosphere” by Kaskade.

Fotheringham decided that she wants to continue to expand her writing skills, so she applied to and earned a scholarship to study creative writing at University College Cork in Ireland, where she’ll be starting this fall. She says she’s considering even pursuing a Ph.D. with the ultimate goal of teaching and researching at a university. However, she said that the most important thing was that she continues to learn. “I want to keep creating and making art that makes me feel vibrant and alive. I want to continue to be a lifelong learner.”

Fotheringham recognizes that having a degree dramatically increases employment options for graduates, but she cautions students to remember the true reason they’re in school. “It's easy to get caught up in assignments and grades and the worry of future employment and forget that the reason you should be in school is to get an education and become a wiser person,” she said. “While grades, assignments, and future careers are important and require dedication and commitment, I found incredible fulfillment when I shifted my attitude away from worrying about those things and tried to find pure enjoyment in the privilege of learning... because it is a privilege.”

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