By Damon Markiewicz

Springfield College was selected as one of 24 Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) member institutions to participate in the second cohort of its “Humanities Research for the Public Good,” grant program, a national initiative to promote student research and public engagement at private colleges and universities while showcasing the rich archival, library, and museum collections held by the selected institutions.

As part of the project, students took part in a year-long undergraduate research project focused on the shared history of activism and protest during the late-1960s, both at Springfield College and within the city of Springfield. The student’s efforts demonstrated how those connections can inform present-day Springfield College students and Springfield community members.

“Participating in this grant project has allowed me to show others the importance of movements like the 1969-70 protests on campus, as its legacy has reached many modern activists,” said student researcher Sabrina Moore, Class of 2023.

In March, the student researchers unveiled their work as part of a new exhibit that is on display at the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History located in downtown Springfield.

“This project also helped me develop a wide range of skills and experiences I probably would have never gotten the chance to do, like looking at how to curate a museum exhibit or helping in creating a film,” added Moore. “Similarly, with this grant, the partnership that I was able to develop with the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum through this project has helped me land a possible internship in the 2023 spring semester that will help me complete my public history and museum studies minor.”

Following their unveiling in Springfield, the student researches had the opportunity to travel to Baltimore, Maryland, and participate in CIC’s closing workshop for the project. The Springfield College grant project team consisted of Associate Professor of History Ian Delahanty, College Archivist Jeffrey Monseau, and Vice President for Communications and External Affairs Steve Roulier.

“Having such an important role helped me with my public speaking skills,” said Moore, who served as the lead presenter during the workshop’s “poster session. “It also helped me meet many different people there, like Christy S. Coleman, the executive director at the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation. On the first day, she was a speaker and talked about her experiences as a Black woman working in Public Humanities, which was very motivating and inspiring to me.”

Moore went on to add, “During the poster session, it was great to have Springfield College President Mary-Beth Cooper come and watch me present everything we’ve done during the school year; it was a fantastic feeling. Especially with the project’s subject matter, I think it shows growth in the administration’s attitudes at the college towards the events, and this support can promote equitable long-term change on the campus.”