Originally from Jenison, Mich., but now living in the Chicago area to be close to her fiancé, Ben Bower, ’10, a student at the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Fellows said people tried to discourage her interest in history, believing career opportunities to be scarce. While never leaving history completely behind, she pursued chemistry to fulfill her interests in the environment, thinking she could find work in water or soil testing.
“I have an excellent understanding of chemistry because of the Albion faculty, but I am keen on this internship because I will be exposed to the interaction of chemistry and history,” Fellows said of her position that will utilize her chemistry background in the preservation of materials. “This is a new experience for me because I thought [my career path] would be more in the chemistry field.”
Fellows noted that she gained experience in the work she will be doing by cataloging alumni files in the College archives during her time as a student. She added that paper is the only material she has worked with in an archival setting; three-dimensional objects will be a new experience.
Founded by Holocaust survivors more than 30 years ago, the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center held its public grand opening in Skokie in the spring of 2009. Fellows noted the relatively new museum has items in its collection ready to be cataloged.
“It will be really cool to find out what artifacts people have been keeping all these years,” Fellows said.
Though a Christian, Fellows’ interest in the Holocaust was piqued by relatives who are Jewish and an examination of the historical events. Among her experiences at Albion was as a student in the Holocaust Studies course in 2009 and helping to clear a section of a Jewish cemetery in Wroclaw, Poland, as part of the closing portion of the class.
“I appreciated the Holocaust Service Learning Trip because it was one of the different lenses I have to look at the time period, because I have experienced where events happened,” Fellows said. “Working in preserving the cemetery is so important because it links faces and locations with certain names.”