What are your plans after college? It’s one of the main questions college students are asked. Many students don’t have an solid answer to that question but Emily Maddux, a senior majoring in history and minoring in theater, does.
She’s earned a fellowship with an East Coast heritage and preservation organization.
The Historic Deerfield fellowship is a nine-week long program, running from June 5 to Aug. 7, in western Massachusetts in the scenic Connecticut River Valley. While living in a historic village, summer fellows attend lectures, get behind-the-scenes museum tours and even lead tours in one of the Historic Deerfields museum houses. The biggest part of the fellowship is conducting research on New England and material culture using the museum and library.
The selection process is extremely rigorous as only seven students are selected to complete the fellowship. College juniors and seniors can apply. When Maddux saw the acceptance email, she was elated.
“The first thing that I did was call my best friend and have a screaming match over who could be louder with excitement (I won),” said Maddux.
From application to secured summer fellowship
The application process was easier than anticipated for Maddux.
She submitted a letter stating her intentions along with two letters of recommendation that she got from Cheryl Golden, professor of history and director of international studies, and Kelly McFall, professor of history and director of the honors program. The mental preparation, however, is still proving to be loads of work, she said.
“It was definitely a step outside of my comfort zone to reach for this opportunity. I believe that I have the ability to excel during this fellowship, especially given the consolation that working within Wichita has given me,” said Maddux.
Preparing for this fellowship has been a process in itself. Along with prepping for the summer program, she’s also preparing to attend graduate school at Wichita State University when she returns in the fall. To keep organized, she has challenged herself to complete weekly goals in order to ensure everything gets done.
“I know that growth is only obtained through continuing to challenge oneself and this will definitely accomplish that for me,” she added.
Golden has taught Maddux in her classes since she was a radiologic technology student. Golden received the information for this fellowship opportunity from Lori Steiner, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and professor of mathematics, and sent it out to all history majors who had expressed interest in summer programs in this field.
“Emily’s work in history, theater and her desire to build a portfolio for graduate research were a great fit. She has the right combination of skills and interests to make a real difference for the program in Historic Deerfield. We are very excited that Emily was chosen for this opportunity,” said Golden.
Prepping for her future, formed by her past
Newman prepares students academically with the hopes that they will go on to transform society, per its mission statement. Maddux has really taken that to heart; she will graduate with three degrees in three different fields. She plans to use all three degrees to become a curator at a museum. She hopes that the museum is either history or medically focused.
“My associate’s degree in radiologic technology prepared me for facing real-world problems and learning how best to help people in their time of need. My bachelor’s in history helped me look at history through a critical lens while also learning how to convey those reflections through the means of writing. Finally, theater pushed me out of my comfort zone and I learned how to talk to people, a skill that has given me many benefits and will help me throughout my entire life,” said Maddux.
Paired with her history degree, her work at Wesley Medical Center has built her fascination with the journey and advances of medicine throughout the years.
“Frankly, it makes me so grateful for the modern health care system that I want to help teach others through the means of museum work,” said Maddux.
Maddux has performed in countless shows during her time at Newman. She said her campus community experience during the past four years “has been a highlight of my achievements.”
“Not only theater, but the Honors Program at Newman was a highlight in that it helped me in thinking critically while also enjoying the discussions at the same time,” Maddux said with joy. “Whenever I picture myself before Newman versus after, I can see the extent of how much Newman has changed me as a person for the better.”
Apply to Newman University
A student’s path to finding a degree that fits his or her needs and aspirations can seem like a daunting endeavor. Newman University’s student-success program, Navigator, is built to empower students to shape their future and their impact on the world around them.