As a child, Gettysburg College student Emily Cranfill found comfort in the personal and political life of Abraham Lincoln, who captured her imagination more than Clifford the Big Red Dog ever could.
Often, her inner history geek will take over. When recounting the Age of Lincoln or ancient Egypt, Cranfill’s wealth of knowledge about the time periods leaves the impression on friends that she was present for both. Naturally, her friends gently remind her that she is a citizen of the present, not the past.
“I’m very careful because not everyone I know likes to talk about history, and I can get really weird about it,” she said with a laugh. “But sometimes just talking about people, I’ll get so passionate that my friends will say to me, ‘Emily, you don’t know them. You’ve never met them before.’”
What excites Cranfill most about the internship is the possibility of making the kind of lasting professional connections that could pave the way for a brighter future.
“I understand being a history major, and being interested in museum studies especially, that it’s really important to make connections and to know the right people,” she said.
Still, the professional gains aren’t likely to overshadow the experience of working with people as enthusiastic about history as she is.
“Also just knowing people who are passionate about history and what they’re doing,” she said. “I love meeting people who love what they do or people who get excited about anything, a little campaign button or whatever it is.”
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.