Congratulations to our May 2017 Graduates!

Congratulations to the graduating class of May 2017! 

See our Graduation Page

View graduation photo album

We are proud to announce Eric Medlin and Douglas McCallum as our newest recipients of the Master of Arts degree in History and Jeanette Shaffer,  Hannah Scruggs, Jason Norris, Katherine Bowers, Nicole Coscolluela, Derek Huss, Claire Kempa, and Ethan Ley as our newest recipients of the Master of Arts degree in Public History.

Medlin worked under the direction of Dr. David Zonderman on a thesis entitled “The Historian and the Liberal Intellectual: Power and Postwar American Historians, 1948-1975” He wrote his MA thesis on three of the most prominent American historians of the mid 20th century: Daniel Boorstin, Richard Hofstadter, and Arthur Schlesinger Jr. By looking closely at each scholar’s most significant publications, Eric challenged the assumption–voiced by most commentators even today–that these authors were all “consensus historians.” Instead, Eric’s thesis offers a much richer and nuanced reading of these historians’ work and argues convincingly that they all were deeply enmeshed in New Deal liberalism and its legacies well into the 1960s and 70s.

McCallum’s thesis, entitled “’Their Look is Onward’: The Politics of Cherokee Removal in North Carolina,” was completed under the direction of Professor Craig Friend. McCallum places Indian removal at the heart of North Carolina politics in the 1820s and 1830s, arguing that Carolinians were as invested in Indian removal as Georgians who are often portrayed as more aggressive in trying to take the Cherokees’ lands. As a new Democratic Party arose and the political landscape shifted throughout the United States, Indian removal became a test of partisan politics as North Carolinians debated their visions for the state’s political economy and whether the state, and indeed the nation, should be an exclusively white republic. McCallum has taken a position as Associate Director of Admissions at Atlanta’s Pace Academy where he will also be teaching history.

Our Public History graduates completed internships at a variety of places and worked on diverse projects during their time at State. 

Jeanette Shaffer performed her internship at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans. She researched distilling, brewing, and winemaking industries in the southern states, taking inventory of all current labels and artifacts in the museum’s collections, researching each state’s industry histories. She presented a paper titled “Distilled Identity: Connecting the Changing Image of Bourbon Whiskey and Culture in Kentucky” at the January 2017 meeting of the Southern Humanities Council. She has been hired as manager of the Museum of Durham History.

Hannah Scruggs’s internship was in Belize where she developed elementary school curriculum materials to accompany a community history exhibit with which she worked in the villages of Crooked Tree and Biscayne. Her work included gathering oral histories and students’ own contributions to the exhibits. Hannah has also organized and led two week-long student service trips to the Braddock Carnegie Library. She has a job at Montpelier, the home of President James Madison, as a research associate, researching slavery and working with descendant communities in central Virginia.

Jason Norris interned in North Carolina’s State Historic Preservation Office. He organized over three thousand photographic slides for the office, supplementing provenance data with additional research. He also developed the Preservation beyond the Buildings website for Preservation Durham, requiring him to coordinate goals and content between the preservation office and Preservation Durham. Jason has worked as well as a research assistant at the Avent Ferry Technology Center. He has taken a position as assistant to the director of the Truro Historical Society on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

Katharine Bowers and Derek Huss

Katherine Bowers performed her internship at the North Carolina State Capitol Historic Site where she developed a living history program titled “You Have to Start a Thing: Women of the Capitol” which educated visitors on the suffrage movement and ratification of the 19th Amendment in North Carolina. She also has served as an educational aid at Historic Oak View County Park and as a researcher for the City of Raleigh Division of Cultural Resources. Bowers is currently working as a tour guide at the Historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. Among many things it’s most known for being the inspiration for Stephen King’s “The Shining” and being one of the most haunted sites in the US. 

Derek Huss interned at the North Carolina Museum of History. He worked on the World War I exhibit, specifically updating the World War I collection’s object and photograph records. He also did photography work for the North Carolina Governors exhibit. He received the City of Raleigh Historic Resources and Museums assistantship. This past academic year, he presented a paper titled “Their Own Unaided Effort: Perception and Use of the Appalachian Trail in the 1970s” at Camping Con 2016, a National Council on Public History mini conference held in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.

Nicole Coscolluela’s internship at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum required her to work in online and digital engagements, including launching new digital platforms, testing website and phone apps, producing content to accompany You Tube videos, and moderating the museum’s social feeds. She also worked on the new Boeing Milestones in Flight Hall. Last summer, Nicole presented a paper titled “Using Social Media to Engage Ethnic Immigrant Groups in Historico-Cultural Institutions” at the meeting of the International Federation for Public History in Bogota, Columbia.  This summer, Coscolluela is the Assistant Site Director of Summer Camps at the Museum of Life and Science in Raleigh.

Claire Kempa worked on digital archives and digital history scholarship for the Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diasporic Studies as her internship. She refined metadata and backend technology on the archival platform, and published a major recent collection—the historic Arab American newspaper, Kawkab America. She also created a guide to train volunteers in indexing historic newspapers. She recently presented a paper on “Fragile Bodies, Hostile Lands: Women Health-Seekers in the Rocky Mountain West” at our graduate student history conference.

Ethan Ley’s internship involved researching and inventorying materials at the historic Dr. M.T. Pope House and developing English as a Second Language activity sheets to accompany exhibits at the City of Raleigh Museum. He was among the organizers and a panel moderator at the “Resist Hate” teach-in on the movie “Klansville, USA.” Ethan continues to work at the City of Raleigh Museum as a museum educator and is interviewing with the Wisconsin Historical Society for assistant educator position.


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