Posts Tagged ‘Biographies’

2012-01-05_19-42-58_250Despite growing up in a small town in western Pennsylvania that’s rarely ever included on maps, where there’s nothing to do for miles, and whose residents don’t travel too far from home, stay away for too long, or concern themselves with art or fashion, I firmly believed a move to New York City would change my life for the better. Even before graduating from high school, I recognized my undergraduate education at The Pennsylvania State University was a stepping stone to even higher education, initially believing medical school was the next logical step after college. Like many incoming freshmen, I was under the impression only a curriculum in science could ever result in a successful career. However, everything changed with a single art history elective and a trip to New York City to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Since then, more classes in the humanities have followed and have stimulated my thinking and creativity in ways science never could. Half way through my undergraduate education, I decided to change my major from premedicine to art history and even interned as a curatorial assistant for the university’s Palmer Museum of Art where I initially fell in love with working with primary documents and original artwork firsthand.

I moved to New York City soon after graduating from Penn State in order to attend the new MA Fashion Studies program at Parsons The New School for Design. Outside of the classroom I wrote concise, critical reviews on contemporary art exhibitions in and around the city for the blog M Daily, volunteered for Karen Augusta of Augusta Auctions, a rare dealer of historical textiles and antique clothing, as well as interned for the Special Collections and Archives of the Fashion Institute of Technology. Although I enjoyed learning more about experimental fashion and other instances of how art and fashion intersect, I truly missed learning about fine art and decided to finish my graduate education at Christie’s Education New York. In 2013, after finishing an internship with the Rare Books and Manuscripts Department of Christie’s Auction House, I graduated with an M.A. in The History of Art and the Art Market from Christie’s and began working as a freelance archival assistant.

My freelance positions made me realize I need to continue to strengthen my research and archival skills if I want to advance in the competitive field of modern and contemporary art and ultimately work for a museum or university collection. I’m excited to be a first-year student of NYU’s Archives and Public History graduate program, as well as a new graduate assistant at Fales Library. For this course I am looking forward to building upon my pre-existing skills, as well as learning more about digital humanities as I research the relocation of the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts to Greenwich Village in the late 1930s. This is certainly an exciting time to research Hofmann since a comprehensive catalogue raisonné on the artist, Hans Hofmann: Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings by Suzi Villiger, was only recently published in 2014.


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Connor Gaudet


Perhaps it is because my background is so diverse and my interests so varied, that I have always found the task of “brief” bios rather onerous and have usually filled them with pithy, sarcastic, and somewhat self-deprecating information, rather than  anything substantive. For example, “Connor Gaudet is a Brooklyn-based writer and musician passionately pursuing a life of debt and poverty. Diarist, embellisher, and non-fiction storyteller, he is currently the managing editor of mrbellersneighborhood.com,” was my bio for a reading series I once ran. Let’s see if I can do a bit better this time.

My interest in history actually has had very little to do with my professional life up to this time. I graduated from Bard College in 2004 with a BA in Creative Writing and Film & Electronic Arts, moving to New York a year later to pursue a career in film, but landing one in post-production and advertising instead.  I was laid off when the market crashed in 2008 and moved from job to job until starting the Dual Degree Program last fall. I am currently earning an MSLIS from LIU’s Palmer School and an MA in Public History here at NYU, and I continue to do freelance camera work, write and play music, and edit the New York themed non-fiction lit site mentioned above.

History has always just been the foundation of how I view the world around me. I search for reasons behind buildings, property boundaries, and the built environment in general, discovering the past in the present and learning about its ability to influence our lives and interact with our landscapes today. This recontextualization inspires speculation and adds significance to what we otherwise think of as familiar and mundane, creating a sense of possibility and discovery that does more than attempt to engage the community from behind a velvet rope – it includes them within the scope of history itself. I believe that a person’s ability to discover history anew in the world around them is fundamental to their ability to see anything beyond the buildings and streets in front of them. It’s my goal to help them see more.

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Cristina Vignone

I am currently in my second year of the Dual Master’s Degree program, pursuing an MSLIS from the Palmer School/LIU, with a specialization in Rare Books and Special Collections, and an MA in Archives from NYU. In May 2012, I graduated from Fordham College at Lincoln Center with a BA in History and Anthropology. While at Fordham I undertook various digital humanities projects, including a visual reinterpretation of the Salem Witch Trials and digital text analysis of pamphlets circulated during the American Revolution. I also worked as a metadata assistant in Fordham’s Digital Library Collections.


I began interning in libraries and archives as an undergraduate. I was an archival assistant at both the Staten Island History Archives & Library of the Staten Island Museum and the New York Society For Ethical Culture. In my senior year I interned at the Research Library of the American Museum of Natural History, where I chronicled my experiences in its Hidden Collections blog.

I now work at the Fales Library & Special Collections and the University Archives, both located inside NYU’s Bobst Library. I process mainly media materials for Fales’ Downtown collections and institutional records at the University Archives. Archival advocacy greatly interests me as a student and emerging professional. Much of my research investigates how archivists and librarians use blogs, wikis, Facebook, Twitter, and other Web technologies to increase public knowledge of and access to collections materials.

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As an undergraduate (go UD!) pursuing a major in History with a minor in Women’s Studies, I often found myself taking classes that included elements of feminist history and one of the most prominent figures is Rose Schneiderman, the labor union leader who eventually became friends with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and was named to the advisory board of the National recovery Administration by President Franklin Roosevelt.

Like several other female labor leaders in the early twentieth century, including Clara Lemlich, Fannia Cohen and Pauline Newman, Rose Schneiderman emigrated at a young age with her family from the Soviet Union. The Schneiderman family emigrated from Saven, in Russian Poland in 1890 and moved to the Lower East Side. She began working to supplement family income as a sales clerk in a department store but she took a factory job making caps within a few years, because the pay was better. Here, she rallied her coworkers to organize their shop and join the United Cloth Hat and Cap Makers’ Union.She joined the New York Women’s Trade Union League, an organization founded in 1903 by upper class women to help working class women organize and fight abusive sweatshop conditions. In 1906, she became the Vice President of the NYWTUL and by 1917, she was the President, an office she held until 1949. She became the President of the National Women’s Trade Union League in 1926 until 1955, when it officially disbanded. In 1908, she began receiving a salary from the WTUL, so that she could devote all of her time to the organizing efforts, although she turned down the offer of a wealthy patroness, Irene Lewisohn, to pay for her schooling, because she felt that it was unfair for her to receive a benefit unavailable to most working class women.Her work with the WTUL and the ILGWU led to the Uprising of the 20,000 (the focus of my project). The Uprising of the 20,000 was dominated by Eastern European Jewish women, like herself and it was, at the time, the largest strike of American female workers.  In the years following the strike, Schneiderman worked as an organizer with the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union, but eventually left, as the leaders of the ILGWU were not inclined to fight for women’s rights and gender equality in the sweatshops.

Schneiderman became friends with Eleanor Roosevelt through the First Lady’s involvement with the NYWTUL. In 1933, President Roosevelt put Schneiderman on the National Labor Advisory Board, where she was the only woman. Following this, she became the secretary of labor for the State of New York, where she had a platform to pursue greater rights for working women, including equal pay and extension of social security benefits.

Her use of the term “bread and roses” from a poem by James Oppenheim was used as a rally cry in the Massachusetts Strike, known as the “Bread and Roses Strike.” Schneiderman said at a rally in 1912 “The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too,” to point out that the working class deserved more than just the bare necessities of survival.

She retired from life as a labor organizer in 1949, to live a quieter life with long term partner Maud Swartz, although she continued to make occasional appearances, including at the 50th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in 1961.

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Maggie Lee

My name is Maggie Lee and I am in my first year of Archives and Public History program on the public history track. I am from New Hope, Pennslyvania, a small town outside of Philadelphia. I just graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in History and Spanish and a minor in Women’s Studies.


I decided to pursue a Masters in Archives and Public History after completing an internship at Pennsbury Manor, a small historical site in Bucks County. Pennsbury is a recreation of William Penn’s country home. The site combined the historical significance of William Penn’s contribution to the United States and the historical recreation movement in the 1930s, when it was constructed. While attending NYU, I am working part time at the Preview Site of the 9/11 Memorial.

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Rachel Corbman

Hi, my name is Rachel and this is my first semester in NYU’s certificate program in Archives. My initial interest in this program in particular and archival management in general was sparked by my exposure to archival research over the course of my studies in the Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality track of the MALS Program at CUNY Graduate Center.

After completing my MA in the Spring, I spent the summer interning at Park Slope’s volunteer run Lesbian Herstory Archives and am now one of the archive’s coordinators. Although LHA is proudly nontraditional, many of its holdings are handled in ways that correspond with or at least loosely resemble archival standards. In equal measures, then, my internship at LHA provided a crash course in archival practices as well as an insider/outsider critical lens through which I approach institutionally based archives.

In terms of my academic areas of focus, I am interested in race, gender, and sexuality in American literature and culture, with an emphasis on African-American and Lesbian/Gay traditions. I am also really fascinated by the history of Women’s/Gender study as an academic field of study and mapping the contexts in which feminist and/or queer theory was and is written.

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I am a Brooklyn native, a devoted Yankees fan and I REALLY love my puppy!  I am a Navy veteran; I was stationed in San Diego and deployed twice, first to South America and then to the Middle East.  I obtained my Associate’s in Social Science from San Diego City College before I separated from the military.   After my discharge, I moved to Fairfax, Virginia where I completed my undergraduate degree at George Mason University, receiving a Bachelors in History and a minor in Art History.  I am in my first year of NYU’s Archives and Public History Graduate Program and I am so excited to learn about the practices, theories and opportunities in Archives.

I have several interests, some stemming from my academic background and others from my cultural background.  I am interested in learning about how archives work in a museum, art museums in particular.  Because of my Caribbean background, I am also interested in archives projects that are working towards digitizing slave records both in the United States and the Caribbean.  I believe that the digitization of these records will help to answer questions that so many people have about their ancestry.

In the “Creating Digital History” class I am hoping to gain skills that will help me to become a contributing member to the field of Archives.

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Meagan Leddy-Cecere

I’m a born and raised Vermonter who recently made the transition to life in Brooklyn and school at NYU. This past June I graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in Women and Gender Studies. This diverse academic field introduced me to Queer Theory, a theoretical stance that continues to guide my approach to historical scholarship. As an undergraduate I worked in Dartmouth’s Special Collections, where my class work and work study culminated in my Senior Seminar examination of the visual discourse of the maternal body in 16th -19th century obstetrical texts.

In my current position at Fales Special Collections I continue to hone my reference desk skills (pencils only please!), and am excited to begin processing my own archival collection. My past experiences accessing archival materials to unearth absent or partial narratives have redefined my engagement with that which is dominant and easily accessible. It is this reflective process of recognizing the holes in collective memory that has led me to archival studies, and which profoundly shapes the role I see myself playing as a student of NYU’s M.A. in Archives and Public History.

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Heather Wilson

 A Massachusetts native, I graduated from Amherst College in 2008 with a BA in History. In my senior thesis, I wrote a microhistory of a man named James Papaw, who was freed from slavery in 1729 by the colonial government in Virginia in exchange for his medical knowledge. In the present, my research interests continue to include colonial and antebellum slavery and Southern US history, in addition to the history of education.

After graduating, I moved to New York City and taught Kindergarten for three years at a public school in the city. Changing my role from teacher back to student, I am now in my first semester in NYU’s Archives and Public History M.A. program. As a student in the public history concentration, I seek to combine my academic and research background with my experience as an educator in order to produce exhibits and educational programming for elementary age students.

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Megan Findling

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, I completed my undergraduate studies at NYU. Currently it is my first year in NYU’s Archives and Public History masters program on the Public History track. I have interned at many museums including exhibition design work at the American Museum of Natural History and Merchant’s House Museum along with curatorial work at the Nicholas Roerich Museum and Mt. Vernon Hotel Museum. My main historic interests are diplomatic and religious history particularly during the medieval period and 20th century.

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