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NEH Grant Supports Undergrad Internships in Public History

Liv Co Historical Society Artifacts

Livingston County Historical Society manuscript (SUNY Geneseo/Keith Walters '11)

Michael Leroy Oberg, SUNY distinguished professor of history, has been awarded an NEH American Rescue Plan: Humanities Organizations grant for Geneseo Center for Local and Municipal History.

The $172,692 one-year grant will enable the center to hire a director for the center. It will support 21 undergraduate students in semester-long internships with a stipend of nearly $2,000 each. The grant will also support guest speakers and other minor expenses.

Joel Helfrich, PhD, has been selected to serve as the center’s director. Helfrich is a public historian in Rochester, New York, and currently a Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellow. He will network and liaise with the center’s partners, especially local history centers, municipal historians, nonprofits, history organizations, and other groups. Also, part of the director’s responsibility is to recruit, place, and advise interns, including to serve as a mentor to students pursuing the new, accelerated BA/MA Program between Geneseo and Claremont Graduate School. 

In addition to his directorship responsibilities, Helfrich will teach two courses in public history, including a class for education majors, Teaching Local History for education majors, which is planned for Spring 2022. 


Monique Patenaude, PhD
Director of Media Relations
(585) 245-5056