Intellectual trajectories or academic memoirs can capture the passions of a lifetime in research or scholarship. Have you ever wondered why people study what they do? How would you answer that question about your own career? In a March 14th workshop, University Historian Melissa Kean explained that she needs ARRUF members’ academic memoirs to help her (and future historians) construct the story behind the thousands of photographs, experimental models, curriculum proposals, and documents that fill the Rice Archives. She joined Professor in the Practice June Ferrill to help participants launch work on their own accounts.
Participants found Ferrill’s suggestions quickly produced results. Marcia Citron and Anne Schnoebelen, both musicians, were immediately reminded of key events that prompted their career decisions. Priscilla Houston recalled how her purposes shifted into academic computing while at Mount Holyoke and Yale. Sidney Burrus recalled the qualities of persistence and determination that transformed him from an eager science student in tiny Alice, Texas to a Ph.D. and eventually, to Dean of Engineering at Rice.
ARRUF hopes to use its newly renovated facility to continue the camaraderie among the memoir writers with the University’s videoconferencing program and June Ferrill’s leadership. Ferrill will make occasional trips to Houston and conduct some sessions from her home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.