MEET THE CURATORS

 

Tobacco Made: Richmond’s Unfiltered History is curated by ten American Studies majors at the University of Richmond. The exhibition was created as part of a seminar led by Nicole Sackley, associate professor of history and American studies, and Alexandra Byrum, assistant director of communications and UR Downtown for the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement.

 

Web Design

 

[the makers and producers]

 

They are responsible for the creation and execution of all web and graphic design elements. 

Lauren Ilsley

Class of 2020
Major(s): American Studies and Leadership Studies

What’s your favorite restaurant in Richmond?

Stella’s

What’s your favorite American Studies class?

Growing Up Civil Rights Richmond, where we wrote and performed a play with local Richmonders and Armstrong High School students.

 

Johnnette Johnson

Class of 2020
Major(s): American Studies

How do you take your coffee?

I’m definitely more of a tea person; I’ll have anything with ginger and honey.

Who inspires you?

The people that inspire me are those who have the courage to trust their intuition and act on it, despite misconceptions from others. Zora Neale Hurston, Lorraine Hansberry, and Prince come to mind.

 

Ella Reed

Class of 2020
Major(s): Physics, German, American Studies

What’s your favorite restaurant in Richmond?

I am seriously so torn on this. My go-tos are Sugar and Twine (more of a coffee shop), Sabai, Stella’s, and Joe’s Inn

What do you want to do after graduation?

After graduation I am moving to Vienna, Austria to teach English to high schoolers with the Fulbright program, and work with Refugees Welcome Austria. After that, I am going to law school!

 

Joanna Hejl

Class of 2020
Major(s): American Studies and Political Science

What’s your favorite place in Richmond?

Sefton Coffee Company

What’s your favorite American Studies class?

Claiming the American Revolution with Dr. Samantha Seeley. This was the class where I learned about the practice of history and it also reignited my interest in a career in museums.

 

Communications

 

[the editors, readers, and writers]

 

They are responsible for capturing the vision of Tobacco Made into words.  

 

Joseph Kelly

Class of 2020
Major(s): American Studies

What’s your favorite restaurant in Richmond?

Lunch (it’s a real place)

What advice do you have for newcomers to the university?

Embrace the challenges that are introduced to you while at the University. Stepping out of your comfort zone is how you will learn to grow!

Rowan Cai

Class of 2021
Major(s): American Studies and History

What’s your favorite place in Richmond?

Libby Hill Park at sunset. It has the best view of the previous Lucky Strike Plant.

What’s your favorite American Studies class?

American Identities. This course inspired me to pursue an honors thesis in History exploring how identity has been used as capital to gain or negotiate power.

 

 

Mysia Perry

Class of 2021
Major(s): American Studies

What’s your favorite restaurant in Richmond?

My favorite restaurant in Richmond is Croaker Spot. Their mac and cheese and cornbread are to die for!

What do you want to do after graduation?

When I graduate, I want to work in education policy and advocacy to promote equitable education practices in America.

 

 

Claire Tate

Class of 2020
Major(s): American Studies

What’s your favorite place in Richmond?

The view from any of RVA’s bridges that cross the James.

Who inspires you?

Emma Goldman inspires me, because she was an original thinker who developed new ways of incorporating gender politics into anarchism while distancing herself from the early suffragists. She also was an early advocate for reproductive freedom.

Exhibition Design

 

[the creators and visionaries]

 

They are responsible for creating the aesthetic feel of the physical exhibition and website. 

 

Raven Baugh

Class of 2021
Major(s): American Studies

What’s a fun fact that people would not guess about you?

I’m left-handed and write with my notebook turned sideways (usually 80-90 degrees).

What’s your favorite American Studies class?

My favorite AMST class is Age of the American Renaissance. I have never felt more validated, intellectually stimulated, and just plain happy as I have in that course. This course, along with any course taught by Dr. Kevin Pelletier, was a much needed pleasure that no one should skip!

 

 

Carissa Gurgul

Class of 2020
Major(s): American Studies, Rhetoric and Communications

What’s your favorite place in Richmond?

I love Brown’s Island. It’s right in the heart of Richmond but offers a really lovely place to escape; the bridges with the sounds of the river falls, trails to explore, community events, etc. The island really captures everything it means to be a Richmonder. It’s a special place.

What do you want to do after graduation?

After graduation I want to venture into the entertainment industry in music marketing. Anyone that knows me knows how central music is within my life, so combining this passion with my interest in marketing would be a dream come true.

Senior Advisors

 

Alexandra Byrum

Assistant Director, Communications and UR Downtown, Bonner Center for Civic Engagement

What’s your favorite place in Richmond?

It’s too hard to name just one, but top of my list would be our wonderful museums and James River Park!

What was your most impactful moment in college?

An art history course assignment led me to the Hunter Museum of American Art where I explored the galleries and engaged with the public programming. It was in those hours that the seeds were planted for my career in museums and community engagement.

 

 

Professor Nicole Sackley

Associate Professor of History & American Studies

What’s your favorite restaurant in Richmond?

Perly’s on E. Grace Street. It’s a modern Jewish deli, with one of the best brunches on the East Coast!

What’s your favorite American Studies class?

This is an easy one. AMST 301, the capstone class. UR’s Americans Studies’ majors inspire me every day.

 

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