Monday, January 30, 2012

Introducing the Spring 2012 Undergraduate Interns

This semester 19 Loyola undergraduate History majors are interning for course credit as part of HIST 398.  Working directly with history-trained professionals in a broad range of institutions across Chicago, interns are spending a minimum of five hours a week putting the critical thinking, writing and speaking skills that they have learned in the Loyola classroom to work in the real world.  Interns are blogging weekly posts about their experiences.  Check out their blogs.  Comment on their posts. Ask them questions.  Encourage them.

Several local history museums have opened their doors to student interns.  Andy Dorsey has a wonderful blog on his research for the National Public Housing Museum.  Three students – Anthony Argentine, Alex Gallipeau, and Nick Slater are diving into collections as diverse as Sami knives, straw artifacts, and the life of the author of one of the first postmodern novels at the Swedish American Museum.  Erik Saxon is following in the footsteps of Fall 2011 intern Maura Lang at the Hellenic Museum in its impressive new facility.  Over at the National Veterans Art Museum, Teolina Dosseva is working with digital art created by veterans.  Stephanie Dochterman is helping a researcher at the Field Museum revise its Egyptian exhibition, interviewing museum docents for their feedback on how to improve the exhibition. 

Several students have signed up to work on the initiatives of different History Department faculty.  The Medieval Garden may lay dormant now, but come this spring it will benefit from the research of Anastasia Graham into Medieval cloisters – perhaps even getting its own cloister wall!  If and when that wall goes up, Stephan Hassam is sure to bring it along with many other facets of the garden to the attention of everyone on campus and beyond. The rediscovery of Loyola’s first library catalogue (back when it was still St. Ignatius, c.1875) in University Archives this fall provided the opportunity for Brian Molitor and Zorian Sasyk to undertake a digital edition of the catalogue.  Want to see what Brian and Zorian are uncovering about the early history of Loyola? Check out their blogs!

Digging into area archives and libraries is another popular choice among Loyola interns.  Kahlee Leingang and Charis Caputo are both interning among the world-class collections at the Pritzker Military Library.  On campus, Anthony Cordaro is working with History Librarian Jeannette Pierce to develop a series of subject guides related to major American wars for Loyola students to use in their classes.  And over in the Women and Leadership Archives, Bushra Alam is processing collections related to the history of Loyola’s Gannon Center – and learning much about the history of women at Loyola in the process!

History doesn’t just happen within the walls of the museum, archive, or university department.  Undergraduate interns are exploring the importance of history in a range of other environments.  Alexandra Vranas is working with the Chicago Metro History Fair on this year’s “Revolution, Reaction, and Reform in Chicago” theme – and even helping out discouraged sixth graders!  Also engaged in History education is Andy Ansari who is reviewing the Chicago Public School’s Civil War frameworks.  Jenna Alia is getting a head start on her future career in law by interning with a lawyer who focuses on immigration law and learning all about the history of the subject.  Last but certainly not least, Elizabeth Dixon is writing a history of the Washington Square Health Foundation.  Have worked at the Foundation for the past two years as a public health intern, Elizabeth decided this semester to put her skills as a history major to work!

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