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In this photo, I’m ecstatic to be in an art museum for the first time since 2020 and simultaneously wondering how the Philadelphia Art Museum got this massive archway inside the building.

Next time you’re in Philly, go to the Reading Terminal Market and buy yourself a Miller’s Twists hot pretzel. You won’t regret it! Now to the more exciting part- the American Historical Association’s 2023 Conference!

I absolutely loved the sense of community and learning environment at the conference. Historians are very kind, nerdy, and love to share their research with others. I loved making connections with people at the conference, particularly with other undergraduate students who shared a similar love for the 1970s.

My presentation was called ““Uncle Sam is Probably Going to Get You”: College Students and the Draft Lottery”. I researched three different Midwestern universities and student reactions and student newspapers about the 1969 draft lottery to the end of the American war in Vietnam. I really enjoyed presenting and sharing my research with others, and hope to expand my project to include more university archives.

The camaraderie and energy that I felt from the conference made me motivated to continue on researching, presenting and community-building as an aspiring historian.

I’ve heard before that the humanities are less relevant in this century and I couldn’t disagree more. Through learning about ethics and movements towards racial equality in Cuban journalism to economic inequality and food insecurity in 18th and 19th century Latin American countries at this conference, I couldn’t help but think how extraordinarily relevant and important these discussions are in today’s climate.

One of my favorite experiences outside of the conference was getting to visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art, particularly the museum’s Impressionist exhibition. I’ve always been drawn to using my love of art and art history in my historical research here at Bowling Green State University. I think often about the many wonderful artworks from that exhibit, particularly from Manet and Monet, and one painting I had seen at the museum by Sorolla y Bastida (Children at the Seashore) from 1903. The exhibit reminded me that I should embrace the beauty of the present and stay in the moment as I experienced the largest in-person conference that I’ve ever presented at.

I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to travel those 500-some miles from Bowling Green to Philadelphia this year and present at the AHA 2023 conference and look forward to presenting, learning and broadening my community of historian friends in the future.