During her time in COLA, Kasey Birth has parlayed her passion for World War II history into a multi-year internship, fascinating research opportunities, academic recognition and more.
The history major interned for a full year at the Wright Museum of World War II in Wolfeboro, N.H., her hometown. The research and information she gathered about women in the military during her time at the museum inspired her senior capstone paper as well as her honor’s thesis. “I’m focusing on the experiences and different perceptions faced by the Women’s Army Corps, the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) and Army and Navy Nursing Corps during World War II,” she says. A theoretical interactive museum exhibit about the WASPs that Birth created for a museum studies course won her the History Department’s Harris Paper Prize. She’s also a member of Phi Beta Kappa and a recipient of the Edmund G. Miller Award, presented annually to a new Phi Beta Kappa member with the highest GPA.
Birth knew she wanted to study history before coming to UNH; classes with faculty like associate professor Molly Dorsey convinced her she was in the right major. “Her teaching and concern for her students’ education assured me I made the right decision majoring in history,” Birth says. “I also have always enjoyed the skills and tasks associated with history, including reading, analytical thinking and writing.” Through COLA, Birth has explored a variety of courses inside and out of her major that capture her interest. She hopes to attend law school after graduation this May.
In addition to her academic interests, Birth is a member of Chi Omega sorority, the Pre-Law Society and the undergraduate History Department committee. “An important lesson I learned at UNH is to branch out and take interest in the community around you to the fullest extent possible,” Birth says. She also enjoys the flexibility of being in COLA. “I’ve had the opportunity to explore so many different topics and interests. The staff is great at encouraging students to follow their passions and trust in that to help them find future career paths.”