The Graduate Students in the Historical Administration program at Eastern Illinois University spend a lot of time with each other. A lot of time. The curriculum requires them to take five graduate classes each semester and work with five different instructors. In addition, each student works nearly 20 hours a week in their graduate assistantships. Course projects also require them to work independently and in group projects to satisfy programming, grant writing, and collections related needs of partner institutions (museums and historical sites in the area, and EIU’s College of Education this year). The students prove that they can “pull in unison” when it comes to having fun, too. On Dec. 11, 2014, the ten students hosted the faculty for an amazing example of giving from the heart. This is the first of four posts to introduce you to the spirit of these ten amazing students, and three of the five faculty that have the pleasure of working with them.
An example of their creativity – the inaugural Gingerbread House Extravaganza. Students formed four teams, invited a faculty member to join them, and set about solving a challenge – constructing a domestic structure representative of either the 17th, 18th, 19th or 20th centuries. We’ll start with the oldest. . . chronologically. The team with Dr. Nora Pat Small, vernacular architecture expert, had to build a 17th century structure. They used their pretzel sticks to construct an example of impermanent architecture. The team (fig. 1): Dr. Nora Pat Small, Amy Wywialowski, Brian Failing, and Dan Hess. And (fig. 2) Dr. Small with the finished product, and the proud teacher of the course in historic architecture. But this is not the “winner” of the Great Gingerbread House Challenge. Stay tuned.