Graduates Students Stay Busy During the Summer

Logo for the Center for Medieval and Renaissance StudiesThis summer, graduate students in the Department of History engaged in a variety of interesting and productive pursuits. Andrew Deaton presented a paper on the legacy of the Hussite Wars at the Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies at St. Louis University.

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Our grads also researched at archives around the United States. Kari Boyd spent three weeks at the US Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, PA, on a Robert L. and Robert C. Ruth Fellowship. She was researching in their extensive collections of Spanish and Philippine American War letters and memoirs.

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Melissa Young received research fellowships from the Alabama Department of Archives and History in Montgomery and the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati. She also completed archival research at the Linn-Henley Research Library in Birmingham on the development of Birmingham’s Jewish community from 1871-1920. She is also currently working as an archivist at the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center, where she processed a large collection of documents and artifacts donated by Werner Knurr, whose family fled Germany in 1938. She wrote several articles based on this work, and led several student intern projects.

Birmingham Holocaust Education Center

Danielle Drew received the 2018 Siegler Fellowship at the Birmingham Holocaust and Education Center. She worked on materials related to Martin Aaron, a Holocaust survivor, for use by the education center to train docents about local survivors, and for classes with middle- and high-school aged students.

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Jessica Brodt interned at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center‘s history office and archives in Huntsville, AL. Over the summer, she wrote the beginning of a facility’s history of NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Simulator, which was designated as a National Historic Landmark in the 1980s. The NBS was a large, water-filled tank that engineers used to simulate the weightless environment of space. Engineers used the tank to develop and refine hardware and maintenance maneuvers for essentially all major NASA missions, such as Skylab, Space Station, Hubble, etc. The historian she worked with, Brian Odom, intends to continue and publish this project. She also helped conduct oral history interviews with engineers and mathematicians who worked on the Apollo 11 mission, as the 50th anniversary is next year.