My wanderlust took me to many places around the world where I experienced humanities moments at nearly every turn, but my hometown is where my relationship with the humanities was born.

My childhood in a small town in New Hampshire was steeped in history. Impressive 19th century buildings and covered bridges painted the backdrop of my formative years and the hours of my days were measured by the ringing of Revere bells.

Sarah Josepha Hale also hailed from the same town. Hale wrote, published, and advocated for women’s education, but is most commonly known for her nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Our lives were separated by over a century, but our childhood homes were only separated by a driveway and as a result she often came to my mind.

Hale’s life sparked my curiosity about what role women played in American history and how they influenced their world despite the restrictions society placed on them. The constant reminder that women do make history helped foster my interest in the humanities.

– Carey Kelley (Ph.D. Candidate)