Public Historys News
April 2009 National Council on Public History Conference in
Providence, Rhode Island
Maria Reynold discussing her poster presentation, "Class and Rustic Illusions: Interpreting the Adirondack Great Camp"
Laura McDowell discussing her poster presentation, "Small Museums and Publishing Alternatives:
Self-Publishing at the Frances Willard House". Laura was also the recipient of a NCPH graduate student
Ashley Eckhardt and Laura Malmberg with their poster presentation, "Progressivism in Evanston: "The Charles Gates Dawes House and the Evanston History Center," at the 2nd Annual Research Symposium sponsored by The Graduate School.
Public History Graduates Play Key Role in The Illinois Holocaust
Museum & Education Center
On April 19, 2009 two Loyola public history graduates joined former President Bill Clinton and Noble Prize
winner Elie Wiesel, and 12,000 guests for the opening of The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center in Skokie, Illinois. Kelley (Hayes) Szany and Bethany (Hirt) Fleming played key roles in making possible the opening of the $45 million, 65,000 square foot museum dedicated victims and survivors of genocide.
The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is a state-of-the-art facility that uses the complete range of public history tools—documents, photographs, hundreds of artifacts, architecture, interior design, lighting, sound, and film to tell the story of the Holocaust from pre-war life in central Europe, through the war, ghettos, concentration camps, liberation, and resettlement.
Bethany Fleming (Public History, M.A. 2002) as Director of Collections and Exhibitions had the remarkable opportunity to first build the Illinois Holocaust Museum’s collections and then work with designers and curators on the creation of the exhibits. Her research included trips to Auschwitz-Birkenau and other camps, Holocaust museums in the United States, and the Yad Vashem Memorial in Israel. One of the signature artifacts on display is a German railcar from the Nazi period. The design theme of the museum takes the visitor on an emotional and chronological journey from the darkness of the Holocaust to the light of survival and rededication. Bethany came to the Holocaust Museum project in 2005 on the recommendation of her Loyola classmate, Kelley Szany.
Kelley Szany (Public History, M.A. 2002) is the Associate Director of Education at the new museum. She has been with the institution since 2000 when she first worked at the original store-front education center as an unpaid student intern. In addition to playing an important role in the development of the museums exhibits, Kelley has been busy training 140 volunteers who will serve as docents and developing resource guides, lesson plans, teacher workshops, and teaching trunks to prepare for the estimated 250,000 school children who will be visiting the museum.
In 2008 Kelley was honored by the Jewish Federation of Chicago with the Samuel Goldsmith Award for her work in educating people that the Holocaust is more than a Jewish issue, “but one that affects and reflects societies and cultures throughout the world.” Upon receipt of the award Kelley explained, “Little did I know that when I first came to this organization…the amazing efforts of [Holocaust survivors] would not only touch my life and inspire my work but would serve as a catalyst to create a world-class museum and education center.”
Girardi Publishes His Sixth Book
“Do you want to stay at home and be clodhoppers, while others are getting free rides over the county, free rations, free clothing, good wages, lots of fun and just enough danger to make your life interesting?” This singular call to adventure in September 1861 spurred Lyman Widney and a group of western Illinois farm boys to answer Abraham Lincoln’s request for volunteers to defend the Union. In Campaigning With Uncle Billy: The Civil War Memoirs of Sergeant Lyman S. Widney Robert I. Girardi brings to light one of the most compelling and insightful eyewitness accounts of the American Civil War. Widney and the 34th Illinois Volunteer Infantry participated in some of the fiercest fighting in the conflict and ended the war under the command of “Uncle Billy” (William Tecumseh Sherman) marching through Georgia to the sea, and making the Carolina’s feel the pain of defeat and occupation. The memoir, edited and annotated by Girardi, is rich in the details of everyday life for the ordinary soldier, from long dusty marches, the shock of battle, “the zip of bullets and grapeshot,” the teeth breaking rations of hardtack, the nights spent sleeping on cold, wet, earth.
When not writing about the Civil War Girardi, Public History M.A. 1991, uses his historical skills to solve homicides as a Chicago police detective. It is as a Civil War historian, however, that Girardi has excelled as a scholar. He has edited or written five other books on the conflict including The Soldier’s View: The Civil War Art of Keith Rocco (Military History Press, 2004), The Military Memoirs of General John Pope (with Peter Cozzens, University of North Carolina Press, 1998), The New Annals of the Civil War (with Peter Cozzens, Stack pole Books, 2004), The Memoirs of General William Passmore Carlin (with Nathaniel Hughes, University of Nebraska Press, 1999). In addition to his work as a detective, Girardi has used his public history skills to help develop exhibits at the Chicago Historical Museum, local historical societies and was a founder of the Chicago Civil War Symposium which Loyola University jointly sponsors with the National Archives. He is a frequent commentator on the Civil War in the media and is the former President of the Chicago Civil War Roundtable.
Girardi’s new book Campaigning With Uncle Billy is available through Amazon.com and is published by Trafford International.
Recent Public History Student Accomplishments
Lisa Callahan (Public History, M.A. 2008) was appointed archivist for the Black Metropolis Research Consortium.
Rochelle Caruthers (Public History, M.A. 2010) has been awarded the 2011-2012 Romare Bearden Fellowship. She is a social studies teacher at Imagine Collelge Prep High School in St. Louis.
Patrick Cunningham, CRM, FAI was named the 43rd Fellow of ARMA International at the ARMA International Conference in Orlando, FL in October 2009.
Kat Latham (Public History, M.A. 2009) appointed Archivist for the Pritzker Military Library.
Laura McDowell (Public History, M.A. 2009) is program assistant at the Edgewater Historical Society and winner of a 2009 National Council on Public History Student Travel Award.
Joanne Murray(Grossman) (Public History, M.A. 1990) was named Director of the Legacy Center and Archives and Special Collections at Drexel University, College of Medicine.
Ryan Rutowski (Public History, M.A. 2008) appointed archivist for the Archdiocese Archives of Wheeling, West Virginia.