Gregor Interns at the Kennebec Historical Society

Last summer, Maria Gregor ’21 obtained an internship with the Kennebec Historical Society in Augusta, ME. One Thing after Another was intrigued and asked Maria to discuss her experiences.

Q: What inspired you to go to work for the Kennebec Historical Society? How did you end up in the position?

A: When I grew up in Augusta, Maine, the Kennebec Historical Society (KHS) was always an integral part of the community. I remember distinctly that when I was a child, its members and staff were constantly organizing public events and trying to generate community interest in the rich histories of Kennebec County and the general Augusta area. My grandfather has been a member of the society after moving to Maine many years ago, and he regularly attends programs that they hold. These include talks on a wide variety of New England topics and more specific discussions about local history. He suggested that I might apply there, as he understood how invested I am in history and its preservation for future generations. I applied for the position in the early spring of my sophomore year of college and interviewed for the job in early May. I was the last candidate to be interviewed, which meant that I started working almost immediately after I was hired. I met with the archival staff as well as the director and president of the establishment during the interview process, and they thought I was a good fit for their team!

Q: What sort of tasks were you assigned as an archival intern? Which of these was your favorite? Was there anything that was particularly challenging?

A: As an archival intern, I performed a wide variety of tasks that were important to the advancement of the organization. Much of my work had to do with the organization of books and documents in the Kennebec Historical Society Collection. Unfortunately, because so many years have elapsed since certain items were brought in, it was very difficult to figure out what to do with them or how to categorize them. One of my jobs was to completely take apart and reconstruct the entire Annex Library, book by book, which could get quite tedious. I then had to enter each item into the database individually. However, it was well worth it when the final shelf list was solidified and everything was finally findable. The rest of my work was mostly centered around document preservation and transcription. These tasks required a wealth of information (and manuals) which enabled me to place documents in the collection by appropriate time period and preserve them. This was some of my favorite work. There is nothing quite like the feeling of having saved an important piece of information from decay.

Q: What variety of skills would you say that you developed or refined during your time with KHS? Would you say that this internship helped you towards your career goals?

A: During my time at the KHS, I discovered a number of things about the documents that we so often read as primary sources during our time as history majors. I often think that we take the preservation of such documents for granted. I learned how to properly preserve documents in melinex and file them away as well as how to catalogue new items and books. This position also fine-tuned my skills as a team leader, negotiator, and critical thinker. Most of the new skills I gained were learned on the fly, and without careful thought and a willingness to work with my fellow intern, I would have been entirely lost. Once I learned these new tasks, I was then able to become a leader and work more closely with the head archivist. Despite the fact that I have decided to pursue law in the future, this internship opportunity gave me a chance to engage in an aspect of my major that I never would have investigated otherwise. I learned a great number of valuable skills in terms of working with people who might have a different work ethic than myself, and I also got to experience the collection of New England history behind the scenes.

Q: Are there any particularly interesting stories from your work, or any historical facts that you uncovered over the summer that you would be willing to share?

A: A particularly interesting story from my time at the KHS is one related to the house I currently live in. When my family moved to Maine, my father received a plaque from KHS stating that our house was historical and listing the original owners of the house. During my time as an intern, I asked about my house and searched the existing database for items linked to the property. There, I discovered a letter addressed to a descendant of the original owner and was able to transcribe it and scan it into the digital collection. It was fascinating to glimpse the life of someone who lived in my house centuries before I did!

Q: Why did you decide to declare a history major?

A: When I came into Saint Anselm College as a history major, I initially wanted to become a professor. Today, the idea of making a difference in law appeals more to me. History is a versatile major, though, and it promotes a variety of skills that can be useful in any number of areas. No matter what career I choose, I know that a history degree will strengthen my ability to do research, writing, and critical analysis. It is a major for those who are curious about the world and want to be immersed in it.

Anderson Interns at Old Sturbridge Village

History major Kaitlyn Anderson ’22 spent the summer doing a college internship at Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts. One Thing after Another was intrigued by Anderson’s experiences and decided to ask her about them.

Q: Why did you come to Saint Anselm College, and why did you decide to become a History major?

A: It wasn’t until my high school guidance counselor, Jennifer Orsini (a Saint Anselm College alum), told me about the school that I considered applying. From then on, it became my number one choice. There was hardly any competition. I couldn’t possibly conceive of going to another college when St. A’s had that classic New England atmosphere and scholarly attitude. It fit the dream of academia that I had wanted since I was a young girl watching movies like Mona Lisa Smile or Dead Poets Society or School Ties (though the last one was set in a high school). Ever since that moment, I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to begin my journey as a history major.

Unlike the other school subjects, like science and math, history always came easily to me. Even as young as seven, I always adored writing, learning, and reading about history. I should probably thank the Magic Treehouse Books and an assortment of fabulous history teachers for that. They made history, well, interesting. I feel as if it’s my purpose to show new generations the importance and beauty of history—whether it be through writing or teaching.

Q: How did you find out about the internship at Old Sturbridge Village, and what was the application process like?

A: Working at a living history museum was always a dream of mine, one I undoubtedly acquired from some teen romance book. I liked the idea of immersing myself in a historical environment with likeminded individuals and teaching others. So when I came to college, I sought to make that a reality. I researched every living history museum in the area that offered a stipend and housing for interns. Old Sturbridge Village was one of the few that met all of my criteria, and so I applied. I sent in two recommendations from my professors, my resume, and a cover letter.

Shortly thereafter, I was contacted and asked to participate in a Skype interview the following week. On the day of the interview, I set up in a library study room and spent the better part of an hour being interviewed by three of the Old Sturbridge Village higher-ups (all of whom I got to know better over the course of the internship). They asked questions about my work ethic and experience, as well as less conventional questions like “what is your spirit animal?” All around it was a pleasant experience, especially since I obtained the internship.

Q: What were the duties and responsibilities of the internship? Which one was your favorite?

A: There were really too many to count, honestly, but none that I wasn’t happy to do. As a historical interpreter, we were expected to perform the duties that were specific to our stations or homes. I worked in five different ones (one for each workday) and thus had many different responsibilities. I cooked over a hearth fire, did laundry (as a demonstration), braided straw, made crafts, played games with the visitors (baseball, tug-of-war, and fire-balloons), gardened, ate a meal in front of visitors, made cheese and butter, and interacted with the animal. It was all good fun, except when we had to do some of these activities during the hotter days in the summer. That was why making cheese and butter was my favorite responsibility; we got to stay in a cold cellar for a majority of the day. The cheese and butter we made was used by the entire village, and whatever wasn’t used, we go to eat.

Q: What did you learn from this internship?

A: This internship was a very enlightening experience; I learned a good many things. For one, I learned that I am a horrible gardener who can only be expected to weed and nothing else, and also that I am excellent at pretending to wash clothes in a “Dumb Betty.” In all seriousness, I learned a lot about what I want in the future. Museum work was never really in my mind before this internship, and now, it seems a possibility. I found I liked working in a museum and seeing its inner workings. I’m still thinking of becoming a professor, but who knows what could happen.

Q: What are your career goals, and how do you think this internship will help you attain them? What do you hope to do next summer?

A: I think it was very important for me to do the internship that I did, especially as a rising sophomore. It showed initiative and interest on my part, and I hope that influences my future employers, especially in the museum field. I also hope that the experience and knowledge I acquired during the internship will help me as a professor or a writer.

However, as far as my career goals are concerned, I may not participate in the Old Sturbridge Village internship next year. Although I very much enjoyed my time there and became friends with a number of of people, I need my next summer job to provide more than just experience; I have to afford college somehow.

Q: You’re from Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Tell us something about Chelmsford that we don’t know.

A: Chelmsford doesn’t really seem to have an identity of its own. Usually, when we are out of town, we tell people that we are from Lowell (next door) or better yet, Boston. No one has ever heard of Chelmsford.

But there are some good things here: lots of condos, highly rated public schools, and our excellent police force once caught a serial killer. True story. That was more than ten years ago, and it’s still talk of the town.

Frankonis Discusses His Work at the College Archives

Several weeks ago, Ed Frankonis ’19 delivered an excellent and fascinating talk on an internship that he did with the College Archives. This internship consisted of curating items (mainly photographs) associated with Aurel Stuart, a Manchester photographer who was active for over 60 years and worked extensively with the College. We asked Ed to give us a brief summary of his talk (he had to cut a great deal out since he referred to a large number of images on display), and he happily obliged.

Thank you for coming.

I’m Ed Frankonis, a senior History major at the College, and I began this internship as a 4-credit class at the beginning of the semester.

I want to start by defining what an archive is. An archive is a repository for public or historical documentation for preservation. It is, in effect, the permanent memory of a place, person, or thing. A library is information about the past and present, but an archive is information for the libraries of the future.

So, with that in mind, the archive I worked on contained a variety of objects; old books, manuscripts, diaries, and, of course, photographs. The goal of my internship was to take boxes like the ones before you and enter “metadata” into an Excel spreadsheet, that is, information about an artifact like a photograph (e.g. standard measurements, BW or COLOR, amount of copies), and determine if we needed to set it aside for any reason (e.g. poor condition or rips, emulation, crinkling, silvering, etc.). In effect, I was helping to preserve the College’s history. One such key player in the College’s history was a photographer named Aurel Stuart.

Stuart was a New Hampshire native who started his own photography business after serving as a bombardier over Europe during World War II. His love of photography during the war “kept him sane” as he lost colleagues to anti-aircraft fire. After working at a photographer’s studio for six months he opened up his own business, where (according to the job list he gave us) he wound up taking photos for a whole host of events that included many persons of interest. And he did so for 65 years. From the 1950’s into the 1960’s, he took photos of technical objects to train engineers, various shows, and the usual variety of weddings and graduations. Later, starting in the 1970s, he did fewer engineering photos and more insurance company photos as well as more pictures for Saint Anselm College.

Now I’d like to showcase and discuss some of his photos here. As you can see, Stuart shot photos of the College for a wide variety of reasons. Some images show the architecture, others portray social occasions, and still others depict ceremonies. As you can tell, some things at this school just don’t change. Others, however, move on rapidly (hairstyles, clothing, buildings, etc.)

So why focus on Stuart? The College employed more than one photographer to preserve our memory in Alumni magazines and archival collections (these photographs will influence how people remember things), so why this particular individual? Well, he is the reason I am in a HAZMAT suit. As you can see [Frankonis showed an images of a cluttered attic], when Stuart died, aged nearly 100, he left quite a collection behind, over which sat a large, asbestos filled death-trap.

So, at the behest of the College Archivist, Keith Chevalier, I journeyed down one early Tuesday morning, donned this suit, and put small boxes of photographs (which included images of Saint Anselm College basketball teams, army artillery drills, weddings, and so on) into larger boxes, separating the ones with College material from the rest (about 17 big boxes in total by the end). These photos, many of which will require a chemistry lab to clean (as the local fauna of the attic decided to use them as a latrine), are incredibly important. They help preserve the memory of the College.

And that’s what a history major can do; in fact, that’s often how history is made. Such mundane acts put viable material in archives, which shape memory, which shape how people tell the history of a place, which impacts how much change can occur, and which in turn impacts identity, and so on.

Horton from Graduation to the ARC

One of the best parts of teaching is finding out what interesting things our history alumni do with their lives years or decades after graduation. Recently, One Thing after Another heard about a fascinating archival and oral history project and tracked down the researcher. He turned out to be not only an Saint Anselm College history alum but also the current Assistant Director of the Academic Resource Center on campus, Benjamin Horton ’12. One Thing after Another asked him about the research project and what he’d been up to for the last several years.

Q: You graduated from Saint Anselm College as a history major in 2012. What do you remember most clearly from your time on the Hilltop?

A: In the summer between my sophomore and junior years, with the help of Professor Masur and other History faculty, I obtained a history internship at the Silvio O. Conte National Records Center in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.  I helped to run the reading room there and through this experience became interested in archival and genealogical research. This work allowed me to practice and teach archival and genealogical methods, culminating in an archival research project focusing on Irish immigration in the 19th century, conducted in collaboration with the National Archives of Ireland in Dublin. Many of the archival research skills that I learned working for the National Records Center have since become integral to my doctoral dissertation work.

During the Fall of 2010, with the guidance of Fr. Augustine Kelly O.S.B., I pursued a scholarship opportunity co-sponsored by the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities and the British Council, to take part in the Irish-American Scholars Program. This is a year-long full scholarship to live, study, and teach history on Falls Road in Belfast, Northern Ireland. This neighborhood is frequently referred to as “ground zero” for politically and religiously motivated violence between Loyalist Protestant and Nationalist Catholic communities. While studying at Saint Mary’s College of Queen’s University, I taught history courses in an under-resourced school on the “Peace Wall” that divides the two communities. I also served as a community liaison between Saint Mary’s College and the Protestant and Catholic areas of West Belfast.

When I returned to Saint Anselm College, during my senior year, I had the chance to intern at the Saint Anselm College Archives under the direction of the College Archivist, Keith Chevalier. These archives, which house artifacts and documents dating back to the 1880s, gave me firsthand knowledge and experience in researching the history of Saint Anselm. This experience proved among the most powerful of my four years at Saint Anselm as Keith taught me so much about the art of historical inquiry. He took great care to provide me with meaningful work and to mentor me, always taking the opportunity to tie my work with the history classes I was taking at Saint Anselm and the skills I was learning. This experience deepened my passion for the study of history and provided me with the tools I needed to be proficient in archival research methods.

Q: After graduating, what did you go on to do?

A: When I was a senior, my advisor in the History Department, Fr. William Sullivan O.S.B., suggested that my passion for education in troubled urban environments could make a real difference in the world. I came across the University Consortium for Catholic Education (UCCE) programs, which provide graduate students an opportunity to teach for two years in under-resourced Catholic schools while pursuing graduate education.

I decided to attend the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education program in 2012 as a middle school history, English, and religion teacher at Holy Family Catholic School in St. Petersburg, FL. I also had the opportunity to do my practicum experience at John Adams High School in South Bend, Indiana and Elkhart Memorial High School in Elkhart, Indiana. These opportunities helped me improve my skills as a history teacher and to carry on my passion for serving students.

Q: You came back to SAC in 2014 as Assistant Director of the Academic Resource Center. What made you want to come back to the Hilltop in this role?

A: Some of my earliest childhood memories are of my time at Saint Anselm College. My father, an alumnus of Saint Anselm College’s class of 1977, and my mother, an alumna of the class of 1978, met at the College and were married on campus, something the College started doing for alumni in the mid-1970s. My father worked at Saint Anselm for forty years in various student affairs capacities and taught for the Humanities program as well as in the Department of Criminal Justice. As I grew up, Saint Anselm became an integral part of my childhood and the people I came to know there became like family to me.

I worked as a mentor and tutor in the College’s Academic Resource Center as an undergraduate. I also served as a history tutor and writing assistant. Spending long hours in the ARC as a student, this place truly felt like home for me.  When Professor LaFleur retired after many years in the ARC, I was excited by the prospect of returning to the Hilltop and overseeing the Peer Tutor Program. Working alongside Kenn Walker, Caitlin Albright, and Ann-Maria Contarino (my former Freshman English instructor, and one of the kindest people on campus) has been a true joy for me over the course of the past few years. The Benedictine monks of Saint Anselm Abbey view one’s work as the highest form of prayer. In the ARC, our professional staff seeks to embody this important aspect of the Benedictine charism in our interactions with students, faculty, staff, and alumni on a daily basis. Ultimately, it all comes down to love of Saint Anselm and love of our students.

Q: You actually join a number of former history majors who work at the College including Lee Joyce ’94 and Cassandra (Loftus) McCue ‘08 in Admissions (go here for a post about Loftus). Is there something about being a history major that inspires you or prepares you well for these types of positions?  

A: I certainly am humbled to work with other History majors like Lee and Cassandra. While I won’t speak for them, I think the thing that draws us all back here is the wonderful sense of community we have. The faculty and staff really have their priorities straight—a genuine emphasis on students and on serving the common good. As a History major, learning to read, write, and think critically prepared me to do my best in my professional role here.

Q: Now you are pursing your PhD in Higher Education and Leadership Policy at the University of New Hampshire. Your dissertation project “Perspectives on Change: The Coeducational Transition of Saint Anselm College, 1969-1979” seems to draw together your love of history and of education. Can you tell us more about this project?

A: My dissertation examines Saint Anselm College’s transition to a fully coeducational Benedictine Catholic liberal arts college between 1969 and 1979, using archival documents and oral history interviews with female alumnae, who experienced campus life firsthand during the 1960s and 1970s. I am interested in the factors that contributed to Saint Anselm College becoming a coeducational institution and the significant impacts on campus culture and environment.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Saint Anselm underwent an period of great change. During the 1960s, women were bussed onto campus from hospital-based residences in Manchester. Women were allowed on campus for restricted periods of time and their activities at the College were limited. Women were not allowed in the dining hall and had nowhere to gather outside of classroom buildings and the Coffee Shop.

In 1969, the College appointed Sr. Nivelle Berning O.S.B. as Saint Anselm’s first Dean of Women. This move marked an important period of transition for the College, as Joan of Arc Hall (or as it was known then, “The Nursing Dorm”) was constructed. Once women were admitted into the residential portion of the College, it changed campus culture almost immediately. During this period (the early 1970s), the College began to employ more female faculty and staff and to create activities and recreational spaces for female students. Bertrand Hall, Raphael Hall “The Studio”, St. Mary’s Hall, and Alumni Hall Streets were all renovated or constructed to make room for additional female housing during the early 1970s. These projects significantly altered the physical plant of the College and marked a period of the College’s investment in infrastructure and programming for female students.

With the admission of women into the Liberal Arts program in the fall of 1974, the College made its full transition to coeducation. The influx of women on campus not only increased the quality and number of applicants to the College but also made the College more financially stable. This period would define and sustain the College during an otherwise challenging period. Saint Anselm College was the first Benedictine College nationwide to transition to co-education.

Q: Working full time and getting a PhD must keep you really busy! When you get spare time, what do you enjoy doing with it?

A: My wife Alex (a 2011 Saint Anselm graduate) and I live in Manchester. We were married at Saint Anselm Abbey Church in 2015. Alex’s passion is small business, and in 2013, she opened Café la Reine on Elm St. in Manchester. It is a small downtown coffee shop. While Alex is usually the busy one, when the two of us aren’t working or writing, we enjoy giving back to the great Manchester community through a variety of service and business activities. We love Manchester and all of the wonderful things to do here. We also both love a good cup of coffee!

In the summer you’re likely to find us downtown enjoying lunch with friends. We also both enjoy fishing, kayaking, and being outdoors with our pup, a standard schnauzer named “Keefe.” Alex first met Keefe when she was volunteering at the Manchester Animal Shelter in 2015. Since then, we adopted him, and he has become part of the family.

Hummel Puts on a Display at the NHIOP

Fans of the History Department will be happy to know that Sarah Hummel ’19 has made some news down at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. Hummel used Institute memorabilia to construct two displays, including one that appears in the New Hampshire Political Library. For more information, check out the press release on the Saint Anselm College web site.

Furthermore, I consider that the myth of the unemployable History major must be destroyed.

Hitchen Saves the World at the NH Department of Environmental Services

This semester, Lily-Gre Hitchen ’18, a History major from Auburn, New Hampshire, is interning with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. One Thing after Another caught up with Hitchen and asked her about her experiences

Q: What made you decide to do an internship?

A: Ever since I was in grade school I’ve been interested in the courts, lawyers, and the law in general. When I first entered Saint Anselm College, I seriously considered the possibility of going to law school afterwards. Now being a junior, I decided to do an internship that would answer questions that have been brewing since I was a freshman. What do lawyers do? What type of work can a person do in the legal field? What is it like to work with the law? Would I like that type of work? This internship for me was all about discovery; I wanted my questions answered with experience.

Based on my time spent at the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NH DES), I would recommend internships to my fellow history majors. I think they are very important in seeing firsthand how skills learned in history classes can be applied to the “real world.” If there is the time and opportunity, I highly recommend completing an internship that is of interest.

Q: What intrigued you about NH DES in particular?

A: The initial thought of working at the NH DES excited me. The main reason that I was intrigued is that I am a huge nature lover, and I care for New Hampshire’s environment in particular. I am from a small town, and I have always enjoyed the outdoors. My home state is very special to me, and I wanted to be able to protect its environment. DES was a great place to pursue my passions.

Q: Can you describe a typical day at the office?

A: I am responsible for a wide variety of tasks at the DES. During a typical day, most of my time is spent working independently on an assigned project. My assignments can range from proofreading legal documents for cross-referencing errors and creating tables expressing the changes in a set of laws to creating draft decisions on environmental fine cases. Drafting fine case decisions are my favorite projects to work on because there are so many facets in making a decision. I read through the file while analyzing the case’s chronology of events, I listen to the fine hearing, and then I draft a document explaining if I think the respondents committed a violation. After I complete the draft, I pass it on for review. When I am not working independently, I am sitting in on meetings or fine hearings.

Q: Are you finding your history skills useful in your legal work?

A: My history skills have helped me in ways that I had never expected. I think the most important history skills that I have used are reading critically, paying attention to detail, not making assumptions, and being skeptical. Using these skills I have spotted mistakes in numerous documents, whether it is in their structure or chronology. Also, being able to formulate a chronology and possessing the ability to point out errors in an already provided chronology is an expertise that history majors are taught and expected to master. However, I never knew that this particular skill would be useful in the working world.

Q: What has been the hardest part of translating your classroom skills into the workplace?

A: The most difficult part of translating my classroom abilities to the workplace was asking questions. In a classroom, a professor is either always open to questions, or specifically asks, “Are there any questions?” However, in a new workplace it is sometimes a balancing act trying to find the appropriate time to ask a question. I did not want to be an annoyance, so at first I was reluctant to speak up. Over the first week, I realized that I did not need to be reluctant when asking questions; I just needed to be respectful. Everyone is busy in the office, so I only ask questions when I cannot continue my work without it being answered. Being concise when asking questions is also a part of respecting their time.

Q: So what do you do to after a busy week of classes and internship?

A: Most of my time outside my classes and internship goes towards the family business. My mother owns a hair salon, Salon OPA, so I have many responsibilities there that I am proud of. I manage the inventory, cash customers out, answer phone calls, and make appointments. I also have my apprentice license in cosmetology and makeup certification, so I can perform some services. One of the most rewarding parts of working at the salon is selling wigs to women who are going through cancer treatment or have alopecia. Working at the salon has given me a joy for business, and the appreciation of entrepreneurs of all kinds.


Kane Lands Job with Brown Brothers Harriman


Lili Kane ’16 (Lynn, MA) had scarcely graduated last May before she obtained a real plum of a job (involving history no less!) with Brown Brothers Harriman in Boston, MA. One Thing after Another contacted Kane to ask her about her experiences at Saint. Anselm College and her new position.

On November 1, at 7 PM, Kane will appear with other alums at the Living Learning Commons (new dorm) to discuss career opportunities for History majors. Appearing with her will be:

  • Lisa Palone ’95, Editorial Research Manager, WGBH (where she is the content manager for the Emmy-winning public affairs program, Frontline)
  • Dan Puopolo ’98, Managing Director, NextShares Solutions LLC
  • Stephen Shorey ’11, Staff Attorney, Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Public Records Division

Q: What brought you to Saint Anselm College, and why did you major in History?

A: I came to Saint Anselm College not only because of the fantastic food and gorgeous campus, but also because of the sense of opportunity. I knew I wanted to attend a college that was academically challenging and offered small class sizes so I could easily engage in class conversations and get to know my professors personally. I also valued how invested the school was in setting up volunteer opportunities around Manchester. Saint Anselm College immediately created a sense of community for me, and I never for a second regretted my choice.

When I started my freshman year, I had yet to declare a major, but I knew I was interested in history. I’ve always loved to read, so I decided to take a couple of history courses. The introductory course I took with Professor Masur (History 100: Introduction to the Study of History) was challenging, intriguing, and super fun. At the time (and even at graduation) I had no idea what I was going to be doing with a history degree, but that didn’t matter because I knew I was receiving a strong education and that was all the confidence I needed.

Q: Back in July, you landed a job as an Enterprise Services Senior Specialist at Brown Brothers Harriman in Boston, MA. Tell us a little bit about the firm and what you do there.

A: Established in 1818, Brown Brothers Harriman is the largest private bank in North America and by far the oldest. A linen merchant by the name of Alexander Brown emigrated from Ireland to Baltimore where he created a private, family-owned merchant bank with his four sons. Strategic investments and innovative business decisions have transformed Brown Brothers Harriman from leaders in merchant banking and transatlantic trade to an integrated worldwide financial services firm. My role as an Enterprise Services Senior Specialist has given me a unique perspective on the firm. I work in General Administration where I help the team with any administrative support, but my main focus is on managing the firm’s historical archives and research.

With the firm’s bicentennial (in 2018) quickly approaching, my knowledge of the firm’s past will prove helpful to any department looking for historical information. Also, since Brown Brothers Harriman is very proud of its history and longevity, it is publishing a book that will tell the story of their last 200 years—and I will be assisting the author in his research!

Q: In what ways do you think your history background might have helped you obtain the job and prepare you to undertake the tasks associated with your position?

A: If it had not been for my history background, I am certain I would not have this role at Brown Brothers Harriman. I had applied for an entry-level operations position, and a woman from HR contacted me about this role because my major at Saint Anselm caught her eye. Brown Brothers Harriman was looking for someone who could do research, enjoyed history, and was able to multitask while doing additional administrative work. When I went for the interview, I told my future boss that this role had my name written all over it. I still have a lot of researching ahead of me, but with the skills I learned at Saint Anselm—how to actively read, critically think, and look at the bigger picture—I have no doubt that I will succeed in this role.

Q: While you were at Saint Anselm College, you also minored in Communication and got an internship with the Office of College Communications and Marketing (CCM). What were the tasks associated with this internship? What did you learn that helped you at Brown Brothers Harriman?

A: My internship with the Office of Communications and Marketing really helped me develop my writing skills. In my history classes, I was always a decent writer, but I frequently struggled with getting all my thoughts effectively on paper. As an intern at CCM, my daily tasks were to draft news stories for the college website. I never realized how challenging journalistic writing was. My experience as an intern at CCM strengthened my ability to write in a simpler manner, which is valuable in my role at Brown Brothers Harriman since what I write there tends to be shorter (e.g. informative news blurbs) than, say, a history research paper.

I truly cannot emphasize enough how important internships are. I felt so confident in myself when this job began because I knew I had the education and a significant amount of experience that could all be tied into this role.

Q: You’re from Lynn, MA. What’s the best thing about your hometown besides Marshmallow Fluff?

A: Well, fluff is pretty awesome, BUT what I think the best thing about Lynn is that we’re called the City of Firsts. Lynn had the first baseball game under artificial light, the first iron works, first fire engine, and a bunch of other stuff. But I bet you’ll never guess that Lynn had the FIRST roast beef sandwich. Marshmallow Fluff and roast beef—Lynn, Lynn, the city of sin likes classy food.

Gates Interns with the NH Department of Environmental Services


Recently, History and English double-major Ginger Gates ’17 (Pembroke, NH) was profiled in the Saint Anselm Crier because of her summer internship at the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.

One Thing after Another took advantage of this opportunity to ask Gates a few questions about her experiences over the summer

Q: One Thing After Another understands you interned with the NH Department of Environmental Services in Concord, NH this summer. What drew you to that internship?

A: I think it’s important for students and young people to be aware and well-informed about the environmental issues that the state and country as a whole face. I saw this internship as a crucial opportunity to learn more about the state of New Hampshire’s environmental concerns and to help address them in any way that I could. The NHDES Groundwater and Drinking Water Bureau’s archive of rules and regulations date back to the late 1800s; it was my job to organize these rules and create an online matrix of each rule and its different versions. This project combined two of my passions: history and law. From reading the rules alone, you can see distinct shifts in attitudes about water conservation and water safety. A state’s laws and regulations can really tell you a lot about what that state values. New Hampshire values its great outdoors, its lakes and mountains, and its bright fall foliage. Especially during this period of extreme drought, it’s important to understand the rules and why they are in place so that individuals and businesses can do their part in conserving water.

Q: How did your major in history and the skills you’ve learned in that major help you in this internship?

A: As a history major, one of the most important skills I’ve learned is how to articulate thoughts and ideas clearly and concisely. While interviewing for this position, my employers were impressed by my ability to communicate well and effectively. Studying history has taught me to evaluate and solve problems efficiently. Because of the nature of my internship, I was given a lot of freedom to change how I approached creating the matrix. There were many times when these problem-solving skills were helpful in creating a clear, user-friendly, and accessible document.

Q: This must have been an interesting summer to work for that agency, given two key water issues happening in the state—extreme drought and ground water contamination with volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). Were you working on anything related to these issues?

A: I wasn’t directly working on these issues, but when water safety and level is affected, everyone is affected. When my boss gave me opportunities to shadow fieldwork, it was evident how detrimental this summer’s drought has been. Lake Massabesic, the reservoir that supplies drinking water for the Manchester area, has dropped four feet over the summer to a level that hasn’t been seen in a hundred years. Many private well systems in the southern part of the state have gone dry in the past months. We take for granted how accessible water is, and when it’s not readily available, that entirely changes your perspective and how you go about your daily routine.

Q: Did you have an interest in environmental issues before this internship?

A: Yes. The problems of the environment are everyone’s problems. Regardless of whether or not climate change has been caused by human action, the issue remains. It is truly the most pressing concern my generation faces now and in the next fifty years.

Q: What benefits did you get from your internship?

A: As in all internships that require interacting with others, my communication and writing skills developed throughout the summer. The NHDES is a large and diverse office, and the people I worked with were a joy to get know, which makes any internship or job much more pleasant. Learning about individual water systems, how vital water is to our everyday lives, and how important the laws and regulations that govern water use and water filtration really gave me a new perspective on water use and enforcement. Only fifty years ago water filtration was just a few metal screens of varying size and a chemical treatment. We can thank the EPA and the Safe Drinking Water Act for the strict regulations that are now in place.

I’ve always been interested in pursuing a law degree after graduation, and this internship strengthened that desire. I had never thought of going into environmental law until this summer, but seeing how vital our natural resources are to our entire lives, it’s something I have an interest in.

Q: You are a senior this year. What are you most looking forward to in your last year at Saint Anselm College?

A: I’m really looking forward to completing my thesis—not only to have it done and not have to worry about it anymore, but to have a cohesive and substantial piece of writing to show future employers or schools.

I’ve developed a new appreciation for the beauty of nature, so I’m really looking forward to seeing this campus move through all the seasons, especially autumn. Hopefully the foliage will still be as colorful, despite the drought!

For the past four years, I’ve really developed great relationships with professors and fellow students. I’m looking forward to continuing to build those relationships and learning as much as I can before I’ve completed my undergraduate degree. There’s a lot to look forward to in the future, so I’m excited to see what it holds.


Muzzy: From American Studies to New Hampshire Law

Katie Muzzy

Many people don’t realize that the relatively new American Studies major is housed within the History Department. Katie Muzzy ’15 was one of the first American Studies majors to graduate from Saint Anselm College. Aside from her major, Katie also minored in Gender Studies as well as Sociology and was a Presidential Scholar. She is now enrolled at UNH Law School as a Warren Rudman Fellow. One Thing after Another asked Katie about her experiences at both Saint Anselm College and law school.

Q: You are from Henniker, NH, just down the road from Saint Anselm College. Why did you choose St. A’s?

A: I chose St. A’s for the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. None of the other colleges I looked at had anything close to the NHIOP’s hands-on opportunities for students to get involved in politics.

Q: When you entered St. A’s, American Studies was a new major to the college. What made you choose that as your major?

A: I actually applied to St. A’s as a politics major. About a month before freshman year, I went on the first ever Passages trip. We traveled to Gettysburg, and it was amazing. Fr. William went to Philadelphia with us, and he helped me realize that I wanted to study history. Right away, when I got home from Passages, I did research into the different majors at St. A’s. I had no idea that American Studies was a new major, but I was interested in the flexibility and variety of courses. I changed my major on the first day of freshman orientation.

Q: You had several internships while you were a student at St. A’s. Tell me about those. Did you have a favorite? How did your coursework prepare you for the internships?

A: I had quite a few different internships while I was at St. A’s.

My freshman year, I spent a week interning for ABC during the presidential primary debate. I was lucky enough to be the stand-in for Diane Sawyer while the crew set up the stage and lights for the debate. For several days, the student stand-ins held mock debates in front of several producers for ABC.

The summer before my junior year, I interned for New Hampshire Public Radio’s The Exchange. I met Laura Knoy, the show’s host, and Keith Shields, the show’s producer, during a congressional debate while I was working as a student ambassador down at NHIOP. As an intern, I did research, learned about production, and screened calls during the show.

The summer before my senior year, I interned at the New Hampshire YWCA’s domestic violence and sexual assault crisis center. The opportunity stemmed from a sociology class I took called Family Violence, for which I started volunteering on the YWCA’s crisis line. I completed thirty hours of training on domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy. I found my work on the crisis line so rewarding that I decided to interview for a summer internship in the office. As a crisis center intern, I assisted clients over the phone, in the office, at the courthouse, at the police station, and in the hospital.

During the spring semester of my senior year, I interned for the Public Policy Team of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. This was the internship that all of my other internships and classes prepared me for. Specifically, I wrote my senior thesis about the first federal legislation that provided funding for domestic violence shelters. My research fueled an interest in the public policy aspect of domestic violence and sexual assault. As the legislative intern, I spent the semester in the State House attending hearings, researching legislation, and even testifying in front of the House and Senate finance committees about the importance of domestic violence legislation.

I loved all of my internships but my favorite one was with the Coalition. It helped reaffirm my life path and led me to where I am today.

Q: You are now in your first year of law school at UNH. Why did you choose to attend law school? You (unless I am mistaken) were named a Warren Rudman Fellow at UNH Law; that’s a very prestigious award. Tell us about that.

A: I have wanted to go to law school since I visited the Massachusetts State House on a field trip in eleventh grade. During college, I refined my passions and realized in what area of the law I want to practice. My initial instinct, perhaps encouraged by my American Studies major, was to go to law school far away from New Hampshire, in a totally new region of the country. During my internship with the Coalition, I realized how much I love Concord and the New Hampshire State House. When I finally visited the UNH School of Law, which is located within walking distance of the State House, I loved it right away.

As part of my application to UNH, I applied for the Warren B. Rudman fellowship, which is awarded to two incoming 1L students with a demonstrated interest in pursuing public interest law after graduating law school. I did not think I had a chance of obtaining this recognition, but several months later I got called for an interview. On the day of my interview, I was driving straight from the law school to go to a round table on human trafficking with Senator Jeanne Shaheen for my internship. I will never forget that day because it’s the day I knew that I would be staying in New Hampshire for the long haul.

I’m in law school because I want to help survivors of domestic and sexual violence. I do not yet know exactly what type of law career I will have, but I am excited to take advantage of every opportunity I can while I’m at UNH Law.

Q: How do you think your St. A’s education prepared you for law school?

A: The most influential part of my St. A’s education was my experience on the debate team. My coach, Dave Trumble, taught me everything I know about being confident and competent, being a good researcher and writer, and being a poised and eloquent speaker. Ironically, I never even considered joining the debate team until I heard about it during the pre-law information session of my freshman orientation. I genuinely do not think I would have made it through college without the support of Dave and my teammates.

Q: Are you enjoying law school?

A: I really am! I try to think of school as a job. I’m either in class or doing homework at least from 9-5 every weekday, plus a solid weekend day of studying. It is completely different from college but it’s a very exciting time of my life.

Q: I’m sure law school is hard work, but surely you have to relax sometime. What do you do for fun?

A: I just got a kitten! Also I am newly engaged. Additionally, I try to do yoga as often as I can, and I am learning how to cook now that I live in my first apartment.

Corbett Interned on Appledore Island

Katie Corbett

Last summer, Katie Corbett ’16, a History major and English minor from Reading, MA, obtained an internship that placed her on Appledore Island, one of the Isles of Shoals off the coast of New Hampshire. The position required her to split time between the Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, NH, and the Shoals Marine Laboratory (on the island), which is run jointly by Cornell University and the University of New Hampshire. One Thing after Another asked Katie about her unusual experiences this summer.

Q: How did you get interested in public history—that is, history presented to the general public outside of an academic setting?

A: I first got interested in public history after I volunteered last summer as a historic roleplayer at the Andover Historical Society in Andover, MA. As a volunteer, I would speak to visiting third grade classes and talk about the differences between what daily life was like in the 1820s and what it’s like today. I was already interested in teaching history after taking ED 130: Principles of Teaching and Learning at Saint Anselm College, and it was neat to see how much the students, even at their young age, learned on this field trip experience.

Q: How did you find out about the internship at Strawbery Banke? Why did you decide to apply there?

A: I first found out about the position at Strawbery Banke when I was looking for a summer internship. I hoped to interact with the public on a larger scale than at the Historical Society. I also wanted a setting where the visitors would learn about what life was like in various eras as well as experience the actual atmosphere of each one as featured in a historic house. I had a lot of fun doing this type of thing at the Historical Society, and I wanted to experience what that would be like in a larger museum setting.

With this in mind, it is actually kind of a funny story of how I ended up working at a marine laboratory as a Garden Interpretation Intern. Initially, I had applied to the Education Department at Strawbery Banke, and I actually was passed over for the position there when the internship’s start date conflicted with when I would be returning to the US after participating in a summer study abroad session at the University of Limerick in Ireland. However, my application was then found by another person in the Education Department who had been charged with finding someone to intern at the Shoals Marine Laboratory as the “Celia Thaxter’s Island Garden Interpretation Intern.” Knowing that I had made it far in the application and interview process for the Strawbery Banke position, she recommended me for a position at the marine lab on Appledore Island. This internship was actually shared by Shoals Marine Laboratory (SML) and Strawbery Banke. Every Sunday, I would travel by boat to Portsmouth to live on the museum property at Strawbery Banke, and then I would return to the island every Wednesday.

Q: What was the job description for your internship at Strawbery Banke? What was a typical day like?

A: At SML, my responsibilities consisted of extensively researching the life and legacy of Celia Laighton Thaxter, who was a prominent literary figure in the late 19th century. In addition, I also looked into the significance of her garden, the subject of her most famous book, An Island Garden (1894). I would also participate in the guided tours that came to the island to learn about Appledore’s natural and cultural history. Using the information I had gathered from my research, I would speak to groups about Celia’s garden and its significance as well as answer any questions that groups had about Celia, her family, and their impact on island life as a whole.

At Strawbery Banke, I did a variety of things. When I was initially conducting my research on Thaxter, I used the resources available at the Portsmouth Public Library and the Portsmouth Athenaeum. After awhile, I started to observe aspects of the Education Department, shadowing a camp for teenagers interested in historic roleplaying. I also observed how the adult historic roleplayers studied to develop their characters and how they interacted with visitors as these characters.

Q: What was your favorite part about this internship?

A: There were so many things that I loved about this internship. It was really neat to be involved with the marine lab because almost every other intern there was doing scientific research and, through our intern meetings, we each got to learn about what everyone was studying and how they were progressing throughout the summer. Appledore Island is one of nine islands among the Isles of Shoals, located off the coast of Portsmouth, NH, and it was interesting to find out more about the other islands there. I was also interested in learning about what it takes to live on an island, especially when you have to be aware of conserving fresh water and electricity.

I would have to say though that my favorite part was being able to use everything that I have learned at Saint Anselm College about the application and analysis of history in a real world setting. This experience really put into perspective what I was capable of doing—particularly in terms of teaching a specific aspect of history to people who were generally interested in learning about it.

Q: You grew up in Reading, MA. Tell us something interesting about your hometown that outsiders might not have already known.

A: Growing up in Reading, I was fortunate enough to live really close to Boston and other towns of historical significance, so that it was really convenient to go visit a different town for the day without traveling any longer than 30 minutes to an hour out of my way.