» Meet our Undergraduate and Graduate Student Assistants
The Avery Research Center supports the professional efforts of College of Charleston students by providing experiential learning opportunities across all disciplines. In this post we want to give some shine to them and the work that they do here at Avery!
C. Mateo Mérida (He/Him/His)Graduate Assistant, 2nd year Masters Student, US/Latin American History (Public History concentration)
I keep my hands pretty full at the Avery! I process collections, offer tours to visitors, address research inquiries, help with exhibit planning and sometimes move furniture. My most visible (and maybe intensive) work that I do is writing historical blog posts every one to two weeks, depending on how fast I can churn them out. I am very proud and grateful for the work we do here at the Avery, and look forward to showing you the building!
Chapman Hughes (She/her/hers)Graduate Assistant, 1st year Masters student, History
Favorite item from Avery’s collection: The Dr. Elizabeth M. Bear Collection, 1922-2006 Since joining the Avery team I’ve been working with our Public Outreach team to plan events at the Avery, meet with community members, and help with social media. I will also be working with our archival team to assist in the reading room and help process some of our collections. I am excited to learn more about our archival material and use some of our sources to help write my thesis for next year.
Anne Spong (She/her/hers)Undergraduate Assistant, Senior, History Major, African Studies Minor
Favorite item from Avery’s collection: We have a hat belonging to a member of the Fruit of Islam. For the past couple of years, I’ve been fascinated with Malcolm X. Although he didn’t lead the Nation of Islam and eventually broke with the organization, it’s exciting to hold a piece of that history that I’ve been so passionate about in my hands. While at the Avery, I’ve spent a significant amount of time in our archives researching information on past graduates and teachers at the Avery Normal Institute. To help fellow researchers, those looking for family genealogy, and for our records, I’ve compiled data on the graduating classes from every year since we opened, as well as the teachers who worked each year and the subjects they taught. I’ve also recently begun to compile a list of all the students enrolled per school year. Amid this, I’ve also helped assist in the curation of exhibits. I was recently given the opportunity to develop an exhibit based on one of my ideas. I am currently working in our archives to gather artifacts and protest posters for that display.
Patricia Washington (She/her/hers)Undergraduate Assistant, Sophomore, Accounting
Favorite Item: Backs of Slaves (art piece) I am an Undergraduate Assistant at the Avery Research Center. My goal is to be a bridge between the Avery Research Center and the students at the College of Charleston. I work on outreach/programming for tours and different events along with other administrative tasks. Ultimately it is my pleasure to be in a building and environment where I am constantly learning about African American History and Culture surrounded by leaders and educators.
Lauren Curry (She/her/hers)Undergraduate Assistant, Senior, Classics and Archaeology, with a minor in Writing, Rhetoric, and Publication
Favorite item from Avery’s collection: The vinyl Jackson 5 Christmas Album Last semester, I helped work on compiling a list of the Avery’s former teachers. This semester, I have been helping with a new exhibit about music by creating a list of relevant books from the Avery’s library and taking inventory of several boxes of vinyl albums. I also help to organize new material for the vertical files.