The Ohio State University at Marion


Ohio State Marion senior earns prestigious history fellowship

April 6, 2018
Ohio State Marion senior earns prestigious history fellowship

Ohio State Marion history major, Keily Cunningham, has been accepted as a fellow in the Historic Deerfield Summer Fellowship Program in Early American and Material Culture for 2018.

One of six fellows chosen annually for this summer "immersion program" in early American history, museum studies, and historic preservation, Cunningham won the full fellowship as well as an additional stipend totaling $10,000.

Cunningham began her early American studies as an intern at the Marion County Historical Society during summer 2016, transcribing the letters of a German-American family living in Marion in the 1850s. She used these letters as well as many other family collections in her 4000-level history seminar paper on the experiences of antebellum German-American immigrants. Her interests in family history, immigration, and museum work led her to apply to the Deerfield fellowship.

Historic Deerfield

Historic Deerfield annually invites college juniors and seniors to apply for its nine-week, tuition-free Summer Fellowship Program in History and Material Culture. Located in the scenic Connecticut River Valley of western Massachusetts, Historic Deerfield allows students to explore New England and regional history, material culture and museum studies. Those involved in the fellowship live in the historic village; explore history and material culture studies in hands-on classroom seminars, walking tours and room studies with Historic Deerfield staff and visiting lecturers; learn to guide and interpret in Historic Deerfield's furnished museum houses; and conduct original research on New England history and material culture using museum and library collections.

Associate Professor of History Margaret Sumner, who has mentored Cunningham since her early days as a history major, felt the Deerfield experience would be an amazing opportunity for the graduating senior.

“I'm thrilled that she has won such a prestigious award and will start her professional training as a Deerfield fellow,” said Sumner. “Whether Keily decides to teach, work in a museum, or run her own auction house one day, a summer at Deerfield will provide her with the professional contacts and experiences needed for success!”

“Ever since Keily walked into my office a few years ago and asked if she could arrange an internship at Marion County Historical Society, I have always been impressed with her independent drive, her creativity, and her amazing research skills,” Sumner added.

A native of Marion, Ohio and graduate of Marion Harding High School, Cunningham is on track to graduate from Ohio State with a Bachelor of Arts in History in May 2018. Upon graduation, she plans to spend the summer in residence at Deerfield, and then plans to pursue a graduate degree in history.