Summer Fellow, Mikaela Springer, looks to challenge modern views on Abraham Lincoln

Summer Fellow, Mikaela Springer, looks to challenge modern views on Abraham Lincoln


Mikaela Springer, a senior history major, from Cameron Park, Calif., is studying the historiography of Abraham Lincoln and particularly his role as commander-in-chief during the American Civil War as a part of her Summer Fellows project.

“My research involves studying the wartime actions taken by Lincoln during his presidency and trying to discern the true intentions he had,” Springer said. “From there the research shifts to how the American view of Lincoln has formed since his assassination, and if the country’s politics have helped to form the current view the majority of people hold when it comes to him.”

Springer explained that her interest in this topic grew out of taking Michael Nelson’s, professor of history, American Military History course. In it, the class discussed the politics of the Civil War and tried to discern the true intentions of the military actions taken.

“One of the topics we discussed, and now one of the points of focus with my research, was the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, and how it both went against Lincoln’s previous statements on slavery and was the beginning of total warfare on the Southern states,” Springer said. “I hope to challenge the modern view of our 16th president. I’m approaching my topic with a thesis and opinion that’s not necessarily the most common when it comes to Lincoln, and I’m hoping to bring new insight to the topic.”

Springer is also involved in Greek life on campus and currently serves on the Panhellenic Council as the vice president of scholarship.

The PC Summer Fellows Program is designed to enhance the academic experience of PC students by providing them with opportunities to work with faculty during the summer. The program is intended for motivated students to gain research experience with direct faculty mentoring. Students experience the process of research as a creative intellectual activity in a living-learning environment.

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