By Jake Weber
The Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) recently recognized Chelsea Denault, '12, for writing the best student research project in the humanities on an ACM program during the 2010-11 academic year. Denault completed the project, "The Spirited Will Act: Josiah Quincy, Jr. and the Mob Culture of pre-Revolutionary Boston" while participating in the ACM's Newberry Library Seminar during the fall 2010 semester.
"I was definitely surprised! I always liked my paper, but didn't think it was competitive against other papers," Denault said about the award. "But I suppose that's because I'm very critical of my own writing. This award is an opportunity for me to let my standards down for a second and give myself a little credit."
One ACM reviewer wrote of Denault's work: "This paper is outstanding on a number of levels… [she] is particularly successful at carefully using her sources as she builds her argument throughout her essay. She writes clearly and..., with passion….One senses an inquisitive mind and a real aptitude for research."
"Our department is delighted," said history professor Deborah Kanter, Denault's academic adviser and herself a former director of the Newberry Seminar in 2000. "Chelsea's passion for history has been plain from the very start of her time at Albion. She made that clear when she sat in on my Latin American history class on an admissions visit. I knew Chelsea would welcome the opportunity to conduct research in the treasure trove of the Newberry Library."
The experience, Kanter added, will enhance Denault's future work "in graduate study in history or perhaps museum work."
Since posting news of the award on her Facebook page, Denault has been contacted by two graduate schools interested in having her join their programs. She already has plans, however, to attend Loyola University on a fellowship, to pursue a doctorate in public history.
The ACM sponsors off-campus programs for 250 students annually, with about 90 of those students completing a research project in the humanities, social sciences or natural sciences. For the ACM's research awards, program advisers nominate two projects from each program, which are then reviewed by a committee of ACM member faculty. Students from Colorado College and Macalester College won the other two 2010-11 research awards.
Related www.albion.edu/news stories:
Denault Selected for Intensive History Program
Denault Reflects on Revitalizing Detroit
Chasing Revolutionaries in Chicago: Chelsea Denault's Off-Campus Experience
American Archaeology Draws Chelsea Denault to Colonial Virginia