'The Primary Pursuit' wins Franklin College Grant to Promote Student Research


Franklin College is among 25 Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) member institutions selected to participate in the inaugural cohort of Humanities Research for the Public Good, an initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to promote student research at private colleges and universities to address issues of public significance, and showcase the rich archival, library, and museum collections held by participating institutions.

Franklin College’s winning submission, The Primary Pursuit,  furthers the college’s curricular aims by engaging students in research that directly benefits local and statewide partners, such as the Johnson County Museum of History, the Indiana Historical Society and state-wide K-12 school districts. Undergraduate students will complete archival research in the Honorable Roger D. Branigin Archives located in the Franklin College B.F. Hamilton Library to unearth materials and develop educational resources for use in Indiana’s K-12 classrooms.  Branigin was the 42nd Governor of Indiana, a 1923 alumnus of Franklin College and an honorary degree recipient in 1956. Franklin College preserves the only comprehensive Indiana gubernatorial manuscript collection outside of the state archives and has committed to leveraging the extensive library holdings as an experiential classroom for its undergraduate students.

The project team includes Meredith Clark-Wiltz, Associate Professor of History, Jessica Mahoney, Information Literacy Librarian, Joel Cramer, Professor of Journalism, Betsy Schmidt, Director of Academic Partnerships, Samantha Loyd, Student Researcher, Mackenzie Taylor, Student Researcher, David Pfeiffer, Director of the Johnson County Museum of History, and Suzanne Hahn, Vice President of Archives and Library at the Indiana Historical Society.

Undergraduate researcher Mackenzie Taylor recalls her experience on the project. “The project embodies the complete scope of what public history and community education ought to be; areas in which a student of a small liberal arts college doesn't always have the privilege of experiencing. As someone who wants a career comprised of both these fields, this research is beyond extraordinary and advantageous.”

Samantha Lloyd, who is also on the project team, describes her experience as an undergraduate researcher. “Doing research as an undergrad allows me to explore different areas of interest which will inform my post undergraduate path. I am gaining experience in one of my chosen fields of passion which will help me gain access to future engaging opportunities.” 

Text courtesy of Vanessa McRae, Director of Undergraduate Research, Scholarship & Creative Expression at Franklin College.

Please visit to view the original article.


< Back to Home Page | < Back to News Page