Spotlight on Starr student and positive personality Sara Underwood

edited.SaraUnderwoodHeadshot_CourtesyofSaraUnderwoodBy Julia Clifton

Elm Staff Writer

Senior Sara Underwood has spent much of her time at Washington College on the waterfront of the Chester River, whether exploring history at the Starr Center for the American Experience or erging down the river as a member of the women’s rowing team.

Hailing from Claymont, Del., Underwood will graduate this spring with a history major and a minor in anthropology.

As a compliment to her history major, Underwood has been involved at the Starr Center in numerous capacities.

Beginning as an intern with the Story Quest oral history project and now the group leader for Custom House Tour Guides, Underwood has also participated in the Explore America internship program last summer, where she worked as a curatorial intern at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia.

“They [internships] have completely impacted everything I’ve done because without the Starr Center internships I would have no experience or really any idea what I would want to do,” Underwood said.

After graduation, she hopes to land a job in the public history field before going on to graduate school.

“I’d love to work in a curatorial or collections type position in a museum or historical society and work my way up in the museum field and going to grad school in the next few years for museum studies,” she said.

Her future goals are well supported by Starr Center director Adam Goodheart and Ken Miller, associate professor of history.

“Bright, engaged, and remarkably good-natured, Sara is the sort of student who lights up a class. She has the energy and enthusiasm of a half-dozen students. I’ve known her since her freshman year, and I’ve yet to see her in a bad mood. She makes classes more enjoyable for everyone else in the room,” Miller said. 

In addition to interacting with Underwood in an academic setting, Goodheart observed her leadership skills as a guide for the first-year orientation explore program aboard the Sultana.

“I think she has done great work in welcoming students to Washington College as first years and really engaging them in this place and helping them in building a cohort of friends and understanding this area that we’re in,” Goodheart said.

Underwood has also honed her leadership skills as a varsity athlete on the women’s rowing team.

“Rowing’s really hard and our coach puts a big emphasis on 24-hour positive thoughts where you’re encouraged not to have a negative thought or if you can’t you have to try. If you can’t think it in a positive way, it’s just not going to be beneficial,” Underwood said.

She believes her participation on the rowing team has helped her realize the importance of positivity, something she can apply to all aspects of her life.

“That positivity has really shown in like everything else I’ve done because I’m like, ‘Okay, this is gonna be hard and it’s gonna be a lot of work, but it could be so much worse,’” she said.

Underwood will be leaving WC with not only valuable experience in her field, but also the best wishes from the department of history.

“It’s obvious that Sara loves WC, and she’s made the most of her time here. My departmental colleagues and I will miss her when she graduates and departs these scenic shores,” Miller said.

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