Holly Nelson ’17


Watching TV with a parent may seem like a pastime, but to UCSB undergraduate Holly Nelson, time spent watching The History Channel with her father was time well spent. She inherited her father’s passion for history, and she graduated in the Spring of 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in History.

She is especially interested in women’s history, and her senior thesis examined the representation of American women in the 1876 Centennial and 1893 Columbian Exposition. Guided by Associate Professor Lisa Jacobsen, Holly found that these women had progressive goals that contradicted the conservative images they displayed publicly.

Holly visited archives throughout the United States for her research. Her internship in archival science at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History for the UCDC Program allowed her access to primary sources, and an URCA grant funded her visit to the Chicago History Museum Archives.

She is attending California State University, Long Beach in the Fall of 2017 to obtain a Master’s in History degree. She is interested in teaching history, and she eventually hopes to become a university professor.

Her tips for anyone interested in pursuing research:

-Don’t be afraid of being wrong.

-Don’t let fear of contradicting people stop you from forming your own interpretations.