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History Fellows Summer Workshop

Five students from other colleges in the region spent July at UGA, living on campus and experiencing the work of professional historians firsthand.

The new program, launched by the history department in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and funded entirely by donors, provided an opportunity to share UGA with these students and to build better relationships with their institutions.

The focus of the History Fellows Summer Workshop was to create broad new inroads for students from Georgia and beyond who are underrepresented on campus, which may include groups such as women in STEM, older returning students, military veterans, first-generation college students and others. 

The new program was supported by Kay and John Parker, with a commitment of three years. A UGA alumnus, John Parker graduated in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in history.

The first year’s cohort, all from HBCUs, represented a discipline-specific opportunity for recent graduates and undergraduates to immerse themselves with UGA faculty members, engage in primary research activities and learn about the profession while experiencing campus life at a major research university.

“They looked at primary source materials—letters, old organizational records—as well as newer tools like digital history resources,” said Chana Kai Lee, program coordinator and associate professor of history. “We designed the experience as a scholar training program focusing on how to analyze sources, how to conceptualize large-scale projects and eventually how historians express themselves, orally and in writing.”

Terrific and enthusiastic visitors to campus this summer who hopefully will return as students themselves, as well as share their UGA experience with friends and associates back on their campuses. Kudos to the history department and the Parkers for this innovative program, which as Dr. Lee explained could be replicated in other departments across campus. Great model for an excellent idea.

Image: Sharonda Richards, a recent graduate from Paine College, discusses her research project at the Special Collections Library. (Photo by Dorothy Kozlowski)Image removed.

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