History lecture series at the public library

The Central Rappahannock Regional Library is hosting several lecture series this fall that may be of interest to History and American Studies majors. Click on the fliers below for more information on “World War I and America,” or Reconstruction in “Remember in November.”

*Please note that several of these events have passed, and not all will be held at the downtown branch. See http://www.librarypoint.org/classes_events for location information.

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Career Talk: Eric Halsey (UMW, ’11) – Monday, 9/25, 4 pm

Eric Halsey photoEric Halsey, recent UMW alumnus, History major, Fulbright grantee, and Study Abroad student, will discuss his independent career as a startup strategist based in Sofia, Bulgaria, and how he parlayed his collegiate study abroad experience into an international career.

​The talk will take place on Monday, Sept. 25, at 4 pm, in Monroe 210. 

This talk is jointly sponsored by the HISA Department, International Relations Organization, and Center for International Education.


“History in the News: Removing Confederate Monuments” (Talking History Series, 9/20)


Student Opportunity: Museum Docent Position at The Weems-Botts Museum

193px-weems-botts_house_dumfries_virginia_001 Looking for an opportunity to gain museum experience? The Weems-Botts Museum seeks a docent to guide visitors through the historic house museum and to help with special programming (children’s activities, school field trips, etc.). They are open Wednesday-Sunday, May-October for public tours and offer tours by appointment and special programming year round. They also are have opportunities to gain experience writing for their newsletter, assisting with research for interpretation and exhibitions, planing new programs, and more.


The museum is named after Parson Weems, author of George Washington’s famous biography and originator of the cherry tree story, and Benjamin Botts, one of Aaron Burr’s defense attorney, who owned the home in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. However, Historic Dumfries Virginia’s mission is to preserve and promote the history of the area so much of the focus is on general town history, particularly colonial and Revolutionary War history. Dumfries was the oldest chartered town in Virginia and one of the four major shipping towns in colonial America, rivaling New York, Philadelphia, and Boston until its harbor silted in in the early 19th century. The Weems-Botts Museum is one of the three colonial buildings still standing in Dumfries.


If you are interested in the opportunity, contact Karleen Kovalcik at (703) 221-2218 or weemsbotts@msn.com. A form for online application is available here.

Ms. Kovalcik will be happy to discuss the possibility of internships for students and will consider student’s resumes for a weekend, part-time museum assistant position. The position will provide house tours when needed, but will also assist with museum administration and collections management. Ms. Kovalcik recently completed an MA in Public History and a Graduate Certificate in Cultural Resource Management from West Virginia University and has worked for multiple history organizations including Dumbarton House, Nantucket Historical Association, and Sully Historic Site. She will be happy to mentor an undergraduate who is interested in pursuing a career in public history.


Talking History Series 2017-2018


Fulbright Information Evening – Wednesday 8/30

Would you like to study ballet in Moscow, opera in Italy, or Flemish Renaissance painters in Belgium? Would you like to research migration patterns into Western Europe, Nile River Valley irrigation methods, mathematics in Ukraine, chess in India, or the effects of global warming on tropical rain forests in Brazil? Would you like to teach English in Korea, Bulgaria, India, Germany, Japan, Italy, or several other countries? These and several other possibilities exist under the Fulbright/IIE program.

If so: Interested students and advisors are invited to a Fulbright information meeting this Wednesday, 30 August, 6:00 pm, Monroe 210.

If you are unsure what to do after graduation, and would like to spend a year teaching and/or conducting research abroad, consider submitting an application to the Fulbright Graduate and Research Abroad Program. This year’s national application deadline will be 6 October. The campus submission deadline will be 29 September.

Our campus Faculty Fulbright Committee is: Dianne Baker, Patricia Reynolds, Ann Witkowski, Jennifer Hansen-Glucklich, Melina Patterson, and Rosemary Jesionowski. Please feel free to contact any of these faculty/staff colleagues, or Dr. Nabil Al-Tikriti, in the next few days, to explore the possibility of applying for a Fublright.

UMW graduates have won 19 Fulbright grants in the past decade. Past UMW students have won grants to teach English in Uruguay, Turkey, Thailand, Nepal, Mexico, and Korea; research water environment in South Africa, study the health effects of the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine; research the effects of the Euro on the Polish economy, study Balkan history in Macedonia; research the justice system in Cambodia; study the effects of climate change on Ecuador’s arachnid population; and research immigration patterns and security issues in the United Kingdom. You too can do it — you need only a good idea, a solid GPA, and strong recommendation letters.

Although grantees must have obtained their bachelor’s degree by the time of their award, students who are not graduating next year — as well as interested alumni — are also encouraged to attend this meeting because successful applications often require advance preparation. At the meeting Dr. Al-Tikriti will discuss strategies for successful applications.

Prior to attending Tuesday’s meeting, interested students are also encouraged to research the Fulbright website: http://us.fulbrightonline.org/home.html .

Internship Diary: Kelsey Brey (’17)

During the spring 2017 semester, I interned at the Fredericksburg Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. Over the course of the semester, I worked hands-on with several attorneys helping them to prepare for high-profile cases in the City of Fredericksburg. I used analytical and research skills that I learned over my history career at UMW to write jury instructions, research jurors, draft plea agreements, and more. I was given the opportunity to sit in on attorney meetings, disbreycuss ideas for how to move forward with certain cases, and communicate with witnesses and victims. The skills and experiences I gained from this internship and UMW have guided me into pursuing a career in law.

In fall 2017, I will be attending Elon Law School in Greensboro, North Carolina. Working closely with the attorneys has solidified my desire to pursue criminal prosecution. Criminal prosecution isn’t strictly about “putting the bad guys away”; it is about giving justice to the people that don’t have a voice – the victims who rely on the police officers, sheriffs, and the Commonwealth Attorney to do what is right by the community it defends. On the other side, defense attorneys don’t just “defend the bad guys”; they are integral in providing a face to the crime. Over the course of my internship, I learned two important lessons. The first is that the defendants are people and have a story. They aren’t just case numbers and it is important to remember that. Second, I was speaking with one of the attorneys and he told me what his law school professor told him. “At the end of the day, no one is a winner. The victims carry the crime with them the rest of their lives and have to suffer through the emotional, mental, and sometimes physical harm forever. The defendants don’t win either. They may have to endure prison sentences and their families are effected by the crimes they committed.” There is no winner in the law and I am grateful to have had this experience to see this firsthand.