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July 31, 2013

SFC Students Curate Exhibit at Historical Society

Eleven students, including six from St. Francis College, presented their summer research projects and unveiled a new exhibit they curated at the Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) on July 11. The night was also a way to thank the JPMorgan Chase Foundation for supporting the intensive five-week program entitled Students and Faculty in the Archives (SAFA) which teaches the important skill of working with original research materials.

SFC Students at Brooklyn Historical Society

“I can simply say it was amazing and meant more to me than I expected,” said Alice Albers ‘15. “We had the rare opportunity to group curate for BHS and then research our own project. This experience taught me a lot about myself and my future plans but most importantly it gave me a boost of confidence and sense of direction.”

The St. Francis students were Albers, Hannah Brown ‘16, Jacqueline Camacho ‘17, Alia Kasem ‘13, Nicole Molinelli ‘16, and Elizabeth Peralta ‘15. Their projects were based on the journals of Gabriel Furman, a Brooklyn lawyer, judge, and state senator who wrote lengthy observations on a variety of topics detailing the world around him in the mid 1800’s.

“In Furman’s journals, we see his love and appreciation for Brooklyn through his descriptions of the streets,” said Alia Kasem who composed an original painting for her project. “I decided to mix his love for nature and his loyalty to Brooklyn by showing a tree with Brooklyn Village as the roots and today’s city of Brooklyn blooming from the roots.”

More than 100 people attended the event and learned about Furman’s views on German and Irish immigrants, Mormons, and slavery. The students presented their work in a variety of mediums including; websites, an infographic, paintings, and a brochure for a walking tour. See the student projects.

“Furman lived in a time when slavery was legal,” said Elizabeth Peralta. “Through his journals I was able to examine why his opinion on slavery gradually changed. I am a History major and working at the Historical Society this summer was truly a gift.”

“Having the opportunity to participate in an undergraduate fellowship was an opportunity that I don't take lightly,” said Hannah Brown. “I have been greatly enriched from everything that the fellowship had to offer.”

Students and Faculty in the Archives is generously supported by the Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education (FIPSE) and JPMorgan Chase Foundation. This fellowship is part of Students and Faculty in the Archives (SAFA), a project funded by grant #P116B100331 from the U.S. Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

Attached photo by Kristy Leibowitz.
“Brooklyn Historical Society’s Students and Faculty in the Archives (SAFA) Summer Fellows are joined by JPMorgan Chase’s Dwight Genias, Philip J. Bowers and Ed O’Donnell at the July 11th SAFA Symposium.”

St. Francis College, founded in 1859 by the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, is located in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. Since its founding, the College has pursued its Franciscan mission to provide an affordable, high-quality education to students from New York City’s five boroughs and beyond.


St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201

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