Denault, '12, Selected for Intensive History Program

Chelsea Denault, ’12, has been named to the Gilder Lehrman History Scholars Program. One of 30 students in the nation selected for the honor, Denault is participating in the intensive program in New York City June 18-25.

A member of Albion College’s Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service and Prentiss M. Brown Honors Program, Denault will visit museums and historical sites in New York City and meet with distinguished historians, writers, editors, museum curators, and other professionals to participate in discussions about major issues in American history and careers in the field.

Chelsea Denault pictured at the Newberry Library in Chicago.Chelsea Denault pictured at the Newberry Library in Chicago.“Hopefully, my experience at the Gilder Lehrman program will help me develop as a historian – both in my thoughts and my writing,” Denault, a history major and Spanish minor, said. “I'll certainly develop my skills through the various seminars and lectures, but I think my experience outside of the structured ‘class-time’ will also be important.

“Being exposed to all of the history in New York City, seeing how people interact with it and how they are (or aren't) affected by history will certainly contribute to how I think about public outreach and getting people interested in our shared history,” she added.

A native of Clinton Township, Denault has taken advantage of the opportunities Albion provides during the 2010-2011 academic year. She completed an individual research project in the Special Collections room of the Newberry Library in Chicago last fall and was one of 16 Albion students to participate in the Sleight Leadership Fellows Program in Detroit in January. She also worked as an intern for the Fairfield Foundation, a non-profit group focused on archaeological research and preservation of the Fairfield Plantation, in 2009.

Ford Institute Director Al Pheley remarked it is refreshing to work with a student with the maturity to care about the people she works with.

“I first got to know Chelsea through our Operation Bentley program, a week-long, on-campus program for high school sophomores and juniors,” Pheley recalled. “This highly competitive program, places students in intensive local and state government simulations that tackle some of the most pressing issues facing our society today. Chelsea brought a special skill to the program – being able to not only think through and analyze policy, but framing them in a discussion of history to the proceedings. She asked the important questions of why is this issue relevant.  What was the historical relevance – what had been done before and how did we get to where we are now to need this legislation? And possibly most important– what is the structure or place of government in addressing a particular issue? All of this stems from her love of American history which has developed since she was a young child.”