COMMENTS FROM SOME INTERNS
Brandie Ashe - Class of 2007
"As a recent graduate with a Bachelor's of Arts in History from Mississippi State Univeristy, I was given the opportunity to work with Dr. Pieschel and the Center for Women's Research and Public Policy. I helped upload old college catalogs and Meh Lady yearbooks to make them available for public use and knowledge. I am fascinated with history and any documents that express how the common person lived. Making such documents accessible allows anyone the opportunity to create connections to history and how our world functions today. On my last day working with Dr. Pieschel, we had discussed how quickly my generation had to adapt to new technologies and how rapidly information is sent out into the world. Incidentally, I finished scanning a 1902 catalog with an image illustrating how the "modern girl" had access to a sewing machine versus the "girl of 100 years ago." We certainly live in a world of speed and instant gratification, which is why taking the time to learn from our own histories allows us to appreciate and learn from the past."
Catherine Bell - Mississippi State University
"Of everything I participated in while attending MUW, I have to say that working in the Southern Women's Institute was my favorite. While I served as an intern during the summer of 2007, I primarily transcribed and edited oral interviews, but every now and then, while fact-checking for the interviews, I had the opportunity to explore the MUW archives. I always knew that MUW had a fascinating history, but when you are inside the archives surrounded by that history, it brings the legacy to life."
Christie Collins Christian- Class of 2007
"I consider my internship at the Center for Women's Research and Public Policy to be one of the most valuable experiences of my college career. I learned a lot about the history behind MUW and the women who attended the university in the past. The whole experience opened my eyes to how much work goes into preserving this university’s rich history and I felt an instant connection to the alumni’s stories about their experiences at MUW. My time at the Women’s Center taught me that no matter how far away I am; I will always have a special connection to this university and other alums
Shannon Covington Caraway - Class of 2011
"During my time as an intern, I learned basic skills such as inputting information about library books, scanning documents, and transcribing old records, but I also got a really cool opportunity to interview the legendary Judge/Dean Mary Libby Bickerstaff Payne about her childhood and her experiences at the “W.” Meeting and interviewing Judge Payne showed me the long-term impact that the “W” has on its students and reiterated the importance of enjoying my time at school and respecting its traditions."
Arielle De Gruy, Class of 2011
"Interning at the CWRPP fed my craving for more knowledge of the W's history as I was enlisted to help scan the late 1920s yearbooks. I was also able to interview women who graduated from the W 50 or more years ago and learn a new perspective of the university's history through their memories. I hope to hear great things about future interns; anyone working under Dr. Pieschel's watchful eye is sure to learn and grow exponentially! My year as a CWRPP intern was a great addition to my collegiate life!"
Ariel Keon - Class of 2012
"My work with the Oral History Project contributed to one of my most life-changing realizations. When I talked with women ranging from seventy-five to ninety-six and learned that although they had many impressive accomplishments, they were still initiating projects and setting goals, my view of life fundamentally altered. At twenty-six, I thought that I would set goals and then spend the rest of my life working to accomplish them and enjoying the benefits when I did so. However, these amazing women showed me that we continue to grow and change throughout our lives, and I learned to view life as a process that allows me to simultaneously look to the future and enjoy the present. I will be eternally grateful to the Center for giving me the opportunity to have contact with these "W" graduates who influenced my life so completely."
Amber King - Class of 2007
"Center internships focus on accurate journal or diary transcriptions and the process of taking and transcribing oral histories, instilling very valuable primary source research skills, which most students are not exposed to until graduate school. I speak from experience, having transcribed two journals and taken multiple oral histories while at the CWRPP. Not only did I learn how to properly read and transcribe handwritten diaries, but also how to analyze these texts, working with historical context and feminist theory. These research tools, ranging from using federal census records to annotating historical details in the edited transcriptions to writing introductions that explain the importance of recovering these texts, have been invaluable to me in my graduate study."
Anne Franklin Lamar - Class of 2009
"Writing just a few sentences about what my internship at the CWRPP meant to me stumped me. How can I limit such a profound experience to so few words? I've come to see my work with the CWRPP as the defining aspect of my amazing four years at MUW. From interviewing our beloved Golden Girls to doing research in the CWRPP for my Honors thesis on the women's suffrage movement, my internship made MUW's incredible history real for me. It helped me connect to MUW--to become a true member of the long blue line."
Bridget McAdam - Class of 2010
Valleri Templeton Merrill - Class of 2006
Grand Forks, North Dakota
"Interning at the Southern Women's Institute (now the CWRPP) was one of the highlights of my college education. During my internship I learned to work with (and write about) primary historical texts (the diaries of Pauline Ellard Smith) and I had the opportunity to interview and talk with older alumnae of our university. That was probably the most exciting part, because it was like a one-on-one history class from someone who was there! I loved my time at the Center, and I'll use the skills I learned there again and again throughout my career."
Megan Stoner Morgan - Class of 2008
Amanda Patterson Weissinger- Class of 2009
"I enjoyed every minute of interning at the Center! I loved being able to travel back in time while digitizing MUW's very first yearbooks. I got lost reading about students' lives while attending the W. I imagined myself as one of them and only going home for Christmas, dying my uniforms navy blue, singing in the formal dining hall, and even going on chaperoned dates. Another one of my favorite projects was interviewing United States Air Force female pilots as part of the Women in the Military oral history project. Every person has a story, and it was amazing to be able to record the lives of these women who chose a male-dominated career. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to intern at the CWRPP. If you are given the chance to intern at the CWRPP, take it! It is a decision you will not regret."
Sarah Sheffield - Class of 2006
New Orleans, Louisiana