When I first came to St. Lawrence, I really had no idea what I wanted to major in. After taking a few history courses my freshman and sophomore year, however, I knew that history was the right choice. I found that I loved learning about the past, especially the history of places outside of the United States.
In the middle of my sophomore year, I became interested in the subject of slavery. I was encouraged to apply for SLU fellowship. Working with Dr. Evelyn Jennings, I developed a proposal aimed at comparing the slave narratives of two figures that I had read about in my classes. I was awarded a fellowship and, during the summer between my sophomore and junior years, I developed a project that allowed me to compare slavery in different contexts. My work concluded that, while all slaves have a universal vulnerability to injury, death, and sale, the transatlantic slavery was particularly awful because of the problems created by anti-black racism. The time I spent writing my fellowship paper enhanced my organization skills, allowed me to manage a large independent project, and gave me an appreciation for the skill and work ethic required to do extensive research. These skills have only enhanced my appreciation and understanding of history.
Putting my skills to work
Currently I am an intern at the National Security Archive, a nongovernmental organization in Washington DC. The Archive was founded in 1985 to check rising government secrecy by functioning as an investigative journalism center, research institute on international affairs, library and archive of declassified U.S. documents. It also serves as a public interest law firm that advocates for global open government.
My work at the Archive has primarily related to US involvement with the Brazilian police and military during the military dictatorship that ruled that country from 1964 - 1985. Currently, I am collecting and attempting to applying for the declassification of documents that might help Brazilian scholars working on a Truth Commission set up by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. This work has been tremendously exciting and allowed me to put the skills I learned as a SLU history student to work for an importance cause.