Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Meet the Summer 2013 Interns

This past summer, four undergraduate History majors walked the streets of Camden looking for traces of a devastating riot forty years before, tracked lost and forgotten sites of Swedish American heritage in Andersonville, dug into the rich holdings in culinary history at the Newberry Library, and sought meaning in the historic patterns of enrollment in Chicago’s Catholic schools.

Pedro Regalado’s blog, the Camden Riots Research Project, richly documents his experience seeking to uncover the origins of the 1971 “Puerto Rican Riots,” the scars of which can still be seen on the city. Under the direction of Professor Michelle Nickerson, Pedro undertook oral histories, dug into census data, and read reel after reel of microfilmed newspapers. Whether writing about walking the streets of Camden, interviewing an octogenarian judge, or pouring over census tracts, Pedro’s blog captures the thrill of research and reminds us how much of the past remains waiting to be remembered.

Much closer to Loyola but also in search of traces of the past, Noura Alcheikh systematically explored the streets of Andersonville this summer. In her colorful and engaging written blog, Swedish American Museum Internship, Noura writes of her time spent rediscovering past sites of Swedish American economic and cultural life, and her own immersion in the daily life of the Swedish American Museum, from the annual Midsommarfest to The Cage, the museum’s locked storage facility.

After participating in the Newberry Library Undergraduate Seminar, Sarah Snodgrass realized her time at the world-famous research library was not yet done. Under the direction of Bruce Kraig, President of the Culinary Historians of Chicago, Sarah dug into the Newberry’s rich collections on culinary history. Each post in her blog,Summer Internship for the Culinary Historians of Chicago, shares another one of her finds, such as a reprint of a 13th century English cookbook (not for the weak stomach, she warns!), early nineteenth-century vegetarian cookbooks, and the biography of a nineteenth-century woman who claimed not to have eaten for six years (who was later was found to be a fraud.)

Interning under the auspices of the Archdiocese, Alvaro Vargas spent his summer digging into the data of Catholic primary school enrollment in Chicago. Using the skills he learned in the classroom, he began to think about general trends in enrollments and the reasons for those trends. Alvaro’s blog, Office of Catholic Schools Internship, shares many of his insights into the past, present, and future of Catholic education.

Inspired by their experiences? More information about the internship program can be found on the department website and at Undergraduate History Internships blog. There are still internships available at the Newberry Library and the National Hellenic Museum for those interested in participating in our History at Work Program, a competitive fellowship that comes with a stipend. More information on that program is available here.

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