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Allison Kraft

2016 Graduate
Majors: History, Political Science
Minor: Art History

Allison Kraft

My name is Allison Kraft and I am a 2016 graduate of the College of Liberal Arts at Purdue University. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science with a minor in Art History. The experiences I had in my four years at Purdue were instrumental in helping me pursue my passion and begin my career in the field I love.

When I was 10 years old, my grandparents took me to a small house museum that had been visited frequently by Abraham Lincoln. It was there that I discovered my love for history and for the places where people of such historical significance had once been. From then on, I loved museums and the stories they told about the past. I knew I wanted to one day be a part of making those stories come to life.

The history classes I took at Purdue were small seminar courses that allowed me to discuss topics with the professor and fellow students. I learned how to think more critically and write more analytically, and my ideas about the past were challenged in new ways. My professors spoke with such a passion for their chosen topic in history, and I am grateful to have been a part of so many classes that helped expand my worldview. Courses on the memory of the Civil War, the mechanics of World War II, and the history of rock and roll were among my very favorites.

It was in my Civil War and Memory course during my junior year that I was invited to work as Professor Caroline Janney’s research assistant for her book about Confederate soldier parolees. I had the opportunity to present my research at an annual poster presentation, and the work that I did contributed to Professor Janney’s published piece.

While at Purdue, I was a member of a number of organizations on campus, including the Purdue Alumni Student Experience Board of Directors, Old Masters, and the College of Liberal Arts Student Leadership Council. Each of these experiences introduced me to fellow student leaders on campus who remain friends to this day, as well as alumni who helped connect me with opportunities for professional development and internships. Among my favorites was working as an Historic Trades intern at George Washington’s Mount Vernon in Virginia. I spent the summer before my senior year of college dressed in 18th-century clothing talking to visitors about George Washington’s life and legacy. I lived and worked on the very grounds that were once home to the nation’s first president, and I knew with certainty that this was the field in which I was meant to work.

I feel incredibly fortunate to have received my undergraduate education at Purdue University, and I count myself lucky to have been a student in the College of Liberal Arts. No other university provides students with a more well-rounded education that is dedicated to helping students recognize their potential, follow their dreams, and chart a course for their lives.

After graduating from Purdue I went on to pursue a Master of Arts in Museum Studies and graduated in 2018. I now work as the Assistant Curator at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, where I am responsible for the care of over 70,000 artifacts from American history. I talk with students and adults almost every day about these pieces from the past and their importance in history, and I think back to my first history classes at Purdue, where I could only dream about being where I am today.

If you have a passion you want to pursue, a topic you want to dive deep into, or an interest that you want to turn into a career, the College of Liberal Arts at Purdue University will work with you every step of the way.

Boiler Up and Hail Purdue!