Summer Research Team Showcases Past Golden Personalities

June 24, 2009

goldenWhile many faculty-student summer research collaborations focus on future developments in the areas of science and art, one team of scholars is taking a step back and researching the past. Led by Associate Professor of History Julian Chambliss and Professor and Head of Archives & Special Collections Wenxian Zhang, four students are documenting the lives of leading citizens of both Rollins College and the City of Winter Park.

Their research project entitled, “Golden Personalities,” takes its name from Hamilton Holt's belief that certain individuals possessed singular qualities that allow them to have impact on contextual events and society. Holt believed that these personalities were “men and women of learning whose sole love was teaching, who enjoyed associating with young people, individuals with noble characters."

Throughout his twenty-five year tenure (1925-1949), Holt dedicated himself to the task of bringing such personalities to Winter Park. To honor Holt, the team of students, along with Chambliss and Zhang, is creating an online biographical database of early settlers, college professors and administrators, and noteworthy citizens from Winter Park and Rollins that are true Golden Personalities.

Student members of the project team include: Alia Alli (Class of 2011), Angelica Garcia (Class of 2010), David Irvin (Class of 2010) and Kerem Rivera (Class of 2010).

Summer 2009 marks the 10th anniversary of Rollins’ Student-Faculty Collaborative Scholarship program.  Professor of Physics Thomas Moore leads the program, which offers students the opportunity to participate in high-level scholarly research—research that is typically only available at the graduate-school level. Since its launch, a total of 71 faculty members representing 24 disciplines have collaborated in research with students, and a total of 307 students will have taken part in the program by the end of the summer. 

*Read more about the Golden Personalities project at Chambliss' blog.

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