Congratulations to the Summer 2017 History Scholars!

Fifteen college juniors and seniors were chosen for the Gilder Lehrman History Scholar Award based on their exemplary leadership skills, commitment to public service, academic excellence, and demonstrated passion for American history. This summer, the scholars will spend a week New York City, where they’ll have the opportunity to explore the field of American history through archival visits, special presentations, and meetings with eminent historians. They will also be honored at a celebratory dinner.

Learn about our newest scholars below:

Michael Antosiewicz attends Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences and is a rising senior majoring in history and classics (Latin and Greek) and minoring in philosophy. He is involved with the Aresty Research Center and WRSU Studio.

Rebecca Barker is a 2017 graduate of Liberty University and grew up in Gaithersburg, Maryland. A double major in history and cinematic arts, her passion is to tell the untold stories of history through film. She is the recipient of the Zaki Gordon Award for Excellence in Screenwriting for her World War I thesis film We Are the Dead.

Jacob Bruggeman, from Brunswick, Ohio, is a sophomore honors student at Miami University with majors in history and political science. He studied in Italy during the summer of 2016, and was chosen as a 2017–2018 fellow at Miami’s Humanities Center as well as a 2017 Undergraduate Summer Scholar. He has worked for the County Commissioners’ Association of Ohio and the Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio as an Ohio Public Leader Fellow. Jacob also serves on the AEI Executive Board, the JANUS Forum Steering Committee, the “I Am Miami” values committee, is the student editor of Miami University’s undergraduate journal of history, and is currently campaigning for a seat on the city council of Oxford, Ohio.

Robert Chad Campbell is a 2017 graduate of Texas Tech University, where he majored in history. While attending college, he participated in the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program, presented at various conferences, and studied abroad in Germany. In 2016, he was endorsed by Texas Tech for the Rhodes Scholarship. Outside of academics, he served as historian of the Texas Tech Chapter of Mortar Board in 2016–2017 and mentored elementary school students in Lubbock, Texas. He enjoys collecting historical artifacts and is particularly interested in the history of the Great Depression and World War II. He plans to attend George Washington University in the fall, pursuing a master’s degree in museum studies.

Amanda Horrocks is a 2017 graduate of Franklin Pierce University, where she majored in American history and secondary education, with a minor in public history. She has completed three education internships at local museums in New England and was part of two faculty-led exhibition teams at Franklin Pierce, creating exhibits on Willa Cather and Anne Frank.

Midori Kawaue is a 2017 graduate of DePauw University, where she was an international student majoring in history and French. She is the co-editor of a 700-page Civil War prisoner-of-war diary, which is currently under review at Kent State University Press. In 2016 she was one of six fellows selected from a national pool for the Historic Deerfield Summer Fellowship Program.

Rebecca McCarron of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, is a 2017 graduate of The Catholic University of America, where she majored in history and minored in Hispanic studies. She is particularly interested in late 19th- and early 20th-century American social history with a focus on American citizenship. In the fall, Rebecca plans to attend graduate school at Mansfield College, Oxford.

Samantha Perlman is a Massachusetts native and 2017 graduate of Emory University, where she double majored in history and African American studies. She is an active student leader, having served as orientation captain, vice president of membership for Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, and Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity, a member of Emory Honor Council, and on the Student Alumni Board. She wrote her honors thesis on the history and development of affirmative action in undergraduate admissions at Emory, inspired to explore access to higher education after witnessing student protest movements while abroad in South Africa. Having interned in government at the state and federal level, Samantha intends to pursue law and hopes to become a federal judge. She has been chosen as an FAO Schwartz Family Foundation Fellow at Generation Citizen in Boston.

Madison Porter is a 2017 graduate history major from Brigham Young University. A native Arizonian, Madison enjoys tennis, being outdoors, and traveling. She will be pursuing a Master of Studies of Early Modern British and European History, 1500–Present at Oxford in the fall.

Heather Riganti is a 2017 graduate of Colorado State University-Pueblo, where she majored in history and psychology. She is a mother to a young toddler, a military wife, and a community volunteer. She hopes to teach US history and government to high school students, and will pursue a graduate degree in American history from Ashland University in Ohio.

Melanie Sheehan is a 2017 graduate of Fordham University with a double major in history and American studies and a minor in economics. She is particularly interested in the intersection of Cold War politics, labor, and populist conservatism. She will be starting a doctoral program in American history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall of 2017.

Emily Shyr is a 2017 graduate of Columbia University, where she double majored in American history and music. Her research interests include the rise of the welfare state and its attendant inequalities in the 20th century. This fall, she hopes to attend Cambridge University.

Sydney VanLeeuwen is a rising senior history major and documentary film minor from Mercyhurst University. She runs on the cross country team, leads the college Circle K club, and aspires to one day make a film as good as Ken Burns’s Civil War.

Andrew Wofford is a student of history, Spanish, and colonialism studies. A graduate of Tufts University, he has focused on the intersection of African American and Native American history in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Angela Zhao is a rising junior at the University of Chicago majoring in history and minoring in English and creative writing. She focuses on 20th-century Asian American immigration history, specifically tracing collaboration and joint advocacy among ethnic minority communities during the Cold War and the later Civil Rights era. She is the co-chair of the Women in Public Service Program at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, which prepares young women to be leaders of civic engagement.

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