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A Historian at Heart: Paige Weaver ’17

May 25, 2017

5/25/17

Paige-Weaver-1"I have dreamed of becoming a historian since I was a little girl," says Randolph-Macon College student Paige Weaver '17. "The study of the past and the allure of history have always intrigued me."

Weaver, a history and art history major, is also a political science minor and classics minor. Her liberal arts education—one that included internships and faculty guidance—helped shape her into a well-rounded student. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Sigma Alpha, Phi Alpha Theta, and the Honors program, she will continue her education this fall as she pursues a Ph.D. in history at the University of South Carolina.

Hands-on Experience
Weaver did two internships during her tenure at R-MC, putting into practice what she'd learned in the classroom. Her internships, at the National Archives and the United States Supreme Court, were "incredible experiences," she says. "My internships allowed me to work in Washington, D.C., a city that is rich in history, and cultivate a network of professional connections as I learned new skills."

At the National Archives, she worked with history in her hands, creating a catalogue of congressional letters of certification from members of the House of Representatives dating from the 19th century to the present. At the United States Supreme Court, she stood in the same courtroom that Supreme Court Justices have sat in to preside over historic cases since 1935 as she explained the history of the judicial branch to hundreds of visitors each day.

"My internships helped me develop a wide range of skills and solidify my passion for the past," she says.

Exploring New Cultures
During January Term 2016, Weaver participated in R-MC's study-abroad program, traveling to Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic in conjunction with Exploring Baroque Arts in Central and Eastern Europe, a course taught by Art History Professor Evie Terrono.

"This was the first time that I had traveled to Europe, and Professor Terrono did an amazing job of planning the trip to ensure that we were fully immersed in everything we experienced," says Weaver. "I tried new foods, saw iconic works of art and architecture up close, and experienced an array of cultures that opened my eyes to a world that is truly diverse and wonderful."

Mentorship
Faculty mentorship was an essential part of Weaver’s college life.

"I got most of my career advice from several professors who I am especially close with, particularly History Professor Mark Malvasi," she says. "He helped me plan my future by always making time to listen to my questions. My professors are genuinely invested in me and enthusiastic to help me. For instance, when I was considering my post-R-MC plans, Professor Malvasi listened to me explain the pros and cons of each of my options, and in turn provided me with advice and guidance. He was such an incredible help and source of reassurance in my decision to pursue a Ph.D. It is people such as Professor Malvasi who make me proud to be a Yellow Jacket."

Kudos
Weaver, who served as an art history and history tutor in the Higgins Academic Center, was a Presidential Scholar and the recipient of the Simpson-Cottrell Scholarship. In addition, she was the recipient of the Cecil C. Powell III Scholarship, which she received for academic excellence in the field of history, in 2016 and 2017. She was also awarded the Emory and Winifred Evans Prize in History for attaining the highest GPA in History at the 2017 Honors Convocation. She is duly proud that she is graduating summa cum laude—and that she accomplished so much in three years.

"With the AP credits that I brought in from high school, coupled with my summer internships, taking an extra class most semesters, and determination, I was able to make graduating in three years possible," says Weaver. "Once I set this goal, nothing could stop me, and seeing all of my hard work come to fruition is truly rewarding."