Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Rachel Storey ’14 enjoys World in Britain and Preservation Institute programs

Rachel Storey ’14 fulfilled a long-held dream last year. She spent the entire academic year in England as a participant of Randolph’s World in Britain program in Reading, getting an up close view of a culture she had always admired from afar.

Rachel Storey ’14 draws a sketch on Main Street in Nantucket.
After such an exciting experience, she needed something to look forward to upon returning to the United States. She found that in Preservation Institute: Nantucket.

Each summer, one Randolph student gets to participate in this summer program on a historic Massachusetts island thanks to A.J. and Lynn Land ’60, who sponsor the Randolph student’s involvement. Storey applied for the program while she was still in England.

“It combined my two interests in history and sociology,” said Storey, a South Carolina native who is double majoring in those subjects. “It was interesting to see how the island has grown and developed and how societies are able to keep strong what they want to keep strong.”

Nantucket Island is a tourist destination rich in history. The summer Preservation Institute gives students the opportunity to learn about historic preservation while also working on projects that help restore and conserve the island’s important landmarks.

Throughout the eight-week program, Storey listened to lectures by international conservationists. After the lectures, she worked on two projects with other participants. First, they researched and wrote about the history of tourism on Nantucket. “It was a study of how the island went from a humble tourist destination to a wealthy summer resort,” Storey said. “We were looking to see how that came about, how the property values changed over time, and how personal and social values changed over time.”

Racehel Storey ’14 spent the 2012-2013 academic year in England before
returning to the U.S. to participate in Preservation Institute: Nantucket.
They also worked on ideas to promote the Boston-Higginbotham House, a home built by a freed slave on land he purchased before the Revolutionary War and was owned by African American families for two centuries. The Museum of African American History now operates the historic home. “They’ve been interested in finding more ways to attract interest to their site,” Storey said. She helped develop strategies intended to bring more visitors to learn about the history of the home and the accomplished families who lived there.

Academic and research experience were only part of what Storey gained from the summer program. “More than anything, I grew personally from being there,” she said. Storey gained new insights from working with people she did not know, including graduate students and people much older than her who were looking into preservation careers.

“No one is too old, and no one is too young to go out and learn and try something new,” Storey said. “I really enjoyed getting the opportunity to explore a field that I had never really thought of before.”