Finding Greatness: Patrick Layson

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Monday, March 21, 2016 1:42 PM
Categories: Students | Finding Greatness | College of Arts and Sciences | Honors/Awards


Macon, GA


Two study abroad trips to Scotland helped shape History major Patrick Layson’s goals for an academic career.

Full Name: Robert Patrick Layson.

Hometown: Perry.

Residence: Warner Robins.

High School: Perry High School. “I was involved in AFJROTC for all four years.”

Family: “My parents and brother still live in Perry. My parents’ names are Gerald and Emma Layson. My brother’s name is Adam. My sister, Christi, and her family live in Perry as well. My other sister, Kelly, lives in Bonaire with her husband and daughter.”

Employment: “I am a manager at Rigby’s Entertainment Complex in Warner Robins. I’ve worked at Rigby’s since it opened in 2013.”

Degree Objective: Bachelor of Arts in History.

Class Rank: Junior.

Primary Campus: Macon.

Activities: Treasurer, English Studies Organization (ESO); History Studies Organization; Student Conduct Board; tutor in the Writing Center. “I was also involved in the Campus Activities Board and worked for Student Life.”

Career Goals: “I plan to pursue a career path in education. I want to become a history professor once I get my PhD. While that is a long-term goal, I plan to teach high school history once I get my master’s degree.”

He chose Middle Georgia State University because … “It was local. Both my cousins, Samantha and Melissa Middlebrooks, attended and told me about how nice it was. Not long afterward I enrolled, and I have enjoyed every minute. The professors and staff members are some of the best people!”

The greatest thing he discovered about Middle Georgia State was … “How wonderful the professors are. My very first semester here I had Dr. Matt Jennings (History) and Dr. Shane Trayers (English). They have shaped the type of historian and professor I want to be. While other professors along the way have helped me, they were the first to have an impact and I will forever be grateful. The one-on-one time you get with the professors makes this University the best. Also, the History department is the bee’s knees!”

His greatest academic experience so far has been … “I have two. I got the chance to do study abroad not once, but twice. I went to Scotland both times, as I could not get enough of that country. If anyone is ever thinking about studying overseas, Scotland is an amazing and historical place. Dr. David Nelson at Bainbridge College and Dr. Benita Muth of Middle Georgia State do an amazing job. The second is, the day I met Michael Stewart of the Student Affairs office. We started talking about superheroes and how much he loved Aquaman, to which I replied how useless Aquaman would be outside of the water. Since then we have had many great conversations about superheroes and how much I hate the Walking Dead (He loves that show for some reason). I also have to give some credit to Dr. David Nelson at Bainbridge College. I went to Scotland twice for study abroad and both time he made it worthwhile and amazing.”

To him, ‘greatness’ means … “Being distinguishable. The world is filled with so many people that sometimes it is hard to remember that you are important and unique. I think that having something that can distinguish you is important. I am a very loyal and loving person. This is how I would classify myself. Seuss said it best: ‘Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!’"

One thing people don’t know about him is … “Oh, where to begin! I am a huge Star Wars fan. I have cosplayed as Obi-wan Kenobi a few times and I am currently looking to do Kylo Ren at some point this year. You can see the picture on my Facebook page. I get to cosplay with some of the best people; they are my con family!”

The one person he’d most like to meet is … “Can’t I just have a TARDIS and see everyone? I would love to meet my grandfather. He was a WWII POW at Bataan and held captive for almost four years. As a history major, I would have loved to hear stories of his life before and after the war. I asked my father about him over the Thanksgiving break and he told me what he knew about his father’s time as a POW. I choose to become a historian and educator because of my grandfather and because of my high school history teacher, Mrs. Dorman. She made me enjoy something that I never thought I would enjoy. I was never able to meet my grandfather, and he never knew me, but I would most certainly have liked to meet him. Also, Abraham Lincoln. His ideals on leadership are great. ‘Wage only one war at a time.’"

Where he sees himself in five years … “I hope to be working on my doctorate or maybe working abroad. I would love to be teaching at a university either in the States or in Scotland. I would also love to work at the Smithsonian as a historian or curator if possible.”